Scoot’s passenger plane escorted back by RSAF due to bomb threat
Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) budget carrier Scoot said on April 5, 2018, that one of its flights bound for Thailand was forced to return to the city-state after a bomb threat was made by a passenger onboard. The aircraft returned safely to Changi Airport (SIN) escorted by the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF).
Flight TR634, bound for Hat Yai, Thailand, left Changi Airport at 1.20 pm local time on April 5, 2018, and was escorted back to Singapore by two RSAF F-15SG jets, after a false bomb threat was made by a passenger, the airline stated. The Airbus A320 aircraft, carrying 173 passengers and six crew members, landed without incident at 3.23 pm local time, The Straits Times writes.
In a Facebook post, Singapore‘s Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen wrote that two of RSAF's F-15SG fighter jets had immediately responded to the threat when alerted by the pilot and escorted the plane from the South China Sea to land back at Changi Airport.
The Singapore Police Force confirmed it was investigating the incident and that police officers were conducting further checks, with more updates to be provided. On its part, the Singaporean carrier Scoot said it was “working closely with the authorities for necessary follow-up to ensure the safety of our guests,” Reuters reports.
It has been reported that a 41-year-old male passenger has been arrested for making the false threat on board the Scoot flight. According to The Straits Times, preliminary investigations indicated that the suspect told a member of the flight crew he had a bomb in his carry-on luggage.
A security search carried out onboard the plane found no suspicious items in either the suspect’s baggage or that of his two travelling companions’. Passengers of the Flight TR634 were finally able to depart again at about 6.30 pm local time, after the aircraft was declared safe by investigators. The false bomb threat, however, caused some delays to flights.
This is the second such threat that Scoot’s parent company Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) experienced in recent weeks. On February 3, 2018, Singapore Airlines Flight SQ879 from Taipei to Singapore was delayed after the Taipei police received a call, claiming there was a bomb onboard the plane. The threat was declared a hoax.
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