A man has been arrested after a passenger jet flying from Pakistan to Heathrow had to be diverted when police received an anonymous threat regarding the aircraft.
Tuesday afternoon, the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK757 to Stansted Airport in Essex was escorted by RAF Typhoon jets following reports of disruption on board.
The flight was en-route from Lahore to Heathrow where Metropolitan Police officers were waiting to arrest a passenger as part of a pre-planned operation.
However, the PIA British police received “vague” security threats shortly after the Airbus A330 entered UK airspace, sources claimed, which resulted in the flight being diverted in agreement with customary security measures.
Investigators: Not Clear Where Threats Came From
It is not yet clear who made the alleged threats and if whether they were the same person the police intended to arrest.
Essex Police spokesman said officers went to Stansted to greet the aircraft, he also assured the press that the incident isn’t treated as a hijack or terrorist situation.
In his statement, the spokesman said: “An aircraft was diverted to Stansted Airport at around 3pm on Tuesday, February 7, while over UK airspace en-route to Heathrow Airport due to reports of a disruptive passenger on board. The plane is currently at the airport and officers are making enquiries. There is no disruption to the ongoing operation of Stansted Airport. This is not believed to be a hijack situation or terror matter.”
Arrest of Passenger
The Metropolitan Police spokesman confirmed that a passenger on board of the flight was due to be arrested as soon as it landed, but he refused to give any more details.
However, the PIA spokesman (in Pakistan) stated that the incident started due to a “vague security threat” made in an anonymous phone call.
In 2013 two British nationals allegedly tried to get into the cockpit of a PIA flight from Lahore to Manchester, they were subsequently arrested after the flight was diverted to Stansted.
They were charged with threatening to blow up an aircraft but a judge cleared them stating that they had no case to answer.
Typhoon pilots are on alert 24 hours a day to protect UK airspace. Covering the south of the country, there are squadrons based at RAF Coningsby, while the ones that cover the north are based at RAF Lossiemouth in Moray.
If any aircraft causes concern, The Quick Reaction Alert crews have the capability to take off within minutes to intercept it.