Anonymous bomb threats disrupt air travel in multiple French airports

Pierre-Olivier /

In a series of alarming incidents, several French airports, including Nantes (NTE), Lille (LIL), Bordeaux (BOD), Montpellier (MPL), and Beauvais (BVA), were temporarily closed on October 18 and 19, 2023, due to anonymous bomb threats.  

The security alerts were triggered when authorities received ominous warnings, by phone and email, about potential bomb attacks. These threats have created chaos in countless passengers’ travel plans and caused air traffic disruptions. 

In total, 14 French airports were targeted, and at least eight airports initiated evacuations in response to the perceived danger. In these airports, terminals and access points were closed while minesweepers conducted thorough searches, halting air traffic.  

Notably, the aircraft of French President Emmanuel Macron, en route to attend the funeral of Dominique Bernard, a teacher recently killed in a terrorist attack in Arras, was among the grounded flights. 

This is the second day in a row that major French airports have been affected by security incidents, causing extensive delays. 

“These little buffoons having fun with these threats […], they will be found, they will be punished,” the French Minister of Justice, Éric Dupond-Moretti, warned. 

“Organizing false alarms is dangerous and unacceptable,” said Clément Beaune, the French Minister of Transport. “They are heavily punished: up to 2 years in prison and a fine of €30,000.” 

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