Royal Air Force fighter jets diverted a Pakistan International Airlines flight from Manchester airport to Stansted Airport Friday. The ‘Typhoon’ jets were ordered to escort the aircraft away from busy Manchester, for “security” reasons.
In the aftermath of the murder of a member of the British military in Woolwich two days ago, England has been on high alert. Officials say that an incident happened on the inbound aircraft, but it is not believed to be terror related.
An Essex Police spokeswoman said: “An incident has occurred on an aircraft. Police and partners are responding.”
“Typhoon aircraft from RAF Coningsby have been launched to investigate an incident involving an aircraft in UK airspace,” an MoD spokesman said.
Sky correspondent Alastair Bunkall said: “It is potentially precautionary, it doesn’t necessarily mean there is a direct or real threat. Sometimes this might happen simply because of an incident on board involving a single passenger.
“It would be wrong at the moment to draw any conclusions but an incident nonetheless that the military feel is necessary to carry out this operation to make sure that plane lands safely at Stansted Airport.”
The aircraft has 297 passengers aboard. The boarded at Lahore, which is the capital of the Pakistani Province of Punjab.
The Guardian Express