Ryanair bomb threat as European flight with 200 passengers and crew escorted by fighter jets after tip-off

22 January 2023, 18:58

The Boeing 737 aircraft landed at Athens airport escorted by fighter jets
The Boeing 737 aircraft landed at Athens airport escorted by fighter jets. Picture: Alamy

By Adam Solomons

Greek fighter jets accompanied a Ryanair 737 as it landed in Athens after police were tipped off about an 'explosive device'.

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Passengers on the flight from Katowice, Poland to the Greek capital were searched for any suspicious items, police said.

The plane's pilot alerted authorities to a possible bomb on the plane, an official told the Reuters news agency.

It's not known whether emergency services have found the suspicious package.

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A Ryanair plane is pictured at a departure gate
A Ryanair plane is pictured at a departure gate. Picture: Alamy

Around 190 passengers and crew were onboard the plane, which landed at 5.35 pm local time today (3.35pm UK time).

Fire engines were on standby as it landed.

"The passengers have disembarked and are being inspected," Greek police spokeswoman Constantia Dimoglidou told AFP.

"There were 190 people on board including the crew. The plane will be checked after the passengers," she added.

FlightRadar images showed the flight's route as Greek fighter planes escorted the 737
FlightRadar images showed the flight's route as Greek fighter planes escorted the 737. Picture: FlightRadar

The flight was first escorted by Hungarian warplanes before Greek F-16 fighter jets took control of the situation when the 737 entered its airspace.

Katowice Airport PR manager Piotr Adamczyk said: "After the plane took off, there was a call to the airport information centre concerning the possible presence of an explosive device on board.

"We contacted air traffic control, which subsequently contacted the pilots."

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