The plane was diverted after a ‘security threat’
Passengers have told how their Jet2 flight was diverted as a consequence of a “security threat”. Following unconfirmed reports of a bomb, the plane, which was travelling from Dalaman, Turkey, for Manchester, was escorted to London Stanstead by two RAF jets last night, October 12.
Passengers claim they “had no idea” what was happening when armed police surrounded the plane after it landed in a “red point” on the airport.
Andrea Aspinwall told the Manchester Evening News that police had their guns pointed on the aircraft because it sat stationary for around two hours.
She said passengers onboard were told to “sit calm” but that “everyone began panicking”.
Andrea, from North Wales, said she sensed that “something was flawed” when the plane began circling within the moments after the pilot announced they might soon be landing at Manchester Airport.
She said: “We thought we were near Manchester but then the plane kept circling.
“The pilot had said we could be landing soon and all of the staff were of their seats.”
She said the toilets were then locked, everyone was told to remain of their seats after which the plane landed after turning.
“After we actually landed on this strip with nothing there, we were taken to a ‘red point'”, she said. “The air hostesses couldn’t tell us what was happening.
“We were sat there after which we saw all these armed police driving up. We were terrified. We knew something was flawed then. Police had their guns pointing on the plane.
“Everyone began panicking, I began crying, I’m disabled so I do not take things good because it is.”
She added: “The pilot got here on and said ‘don’t be concerned we want to take a seat calm’ but nobody could arise and this was for a very good two hours. We didn’t know where we were.
“We saw it on the web and folks saw it on social media. Everyone was saying ‘oh my god’ because it said it was a bomb scare. It was scary, it really was. I do not get frightened very easily but I used to be scared. It was the scariest moment of my life.”
Andrea said the pilot was eventually in a position to leave the cockpit and speak to passengers.
He apologised and said they were told they’d to land as soon as possible, she added.
Passengers said armed officers surrounded the plane
Once passengers were allowed off the plane, she said “the chaos began” as passengers were unsure what would occur next.
“There was nobody showing us where to go”, she said.
“We had to remain downstairs because I used to be in a wheelchair. They took us up and everybody was screaming and shouting, there have been babies. It was awful and I used to be ignored by Jet2 staff. They didn’t know what to do with us.
“They gave us a voucher to go and get some food, we were told nothing else.
“Then they said they might placed on a coach to get to Manchester but I used to be beginning to struggle.
“It was 4.30am within the morning when someone got here as much as me and we were put in a hotel.”
Martin Ramsay, who also tweeted to say he was onboard the identical plane, said he was waiting within the airport for “4 hours” to be taken back to Manchester.
He said in a tweet: “@jet2tweets still in Stansted airport 4 hours later and still about 50 people waiting for transfers to manchester or local airport.
“Absolutely terrible service from your organization. Should do higher. Feel glad to be alive after bomb hoax but that is ridiculous. Not adequate.”
On Facebook, Kui Unisa commented: “False alarm everyone. We’re all protected and well. We’re either staying in a hotel tonight and getting the flight tomorrow OR taxi/train back to Manchester.”
After the incident, the RAF confirmed that two Quick Response Alert Typhoon aircraft out of RAF Coningsby near Horncastle were involved within the response.
The plane was as a consequence of land at Manchester Airport at 9.40pm, but landed at Stanstead shortly after 9.20pm.
Jet2 confirmed that the flight had been diverted on the request of UK authorities as a consequence of a “potential security concern”. The precise nature of the priority was not specified.
A spokesperson for Stansted Airport said: “A Jet2.com flight from Dalaman to Manchester diverted to Stansted Airport this evening.
“The plane landed safely and is parked on a distant stand away from the predominant passenger terminal. The runway was closed for a short while but has now reopened.”
An RAF spokesman said: “The RAF can confirm Quick Response Alert Typhoon aircraft were launched this evening from RAF Coningsby to intercept a civilian aircraft that was causing concern. The aircraft was safely escorted to Stansted Airport.”
A spokesperson for Jet2 added: “We are able to confirm that flight LS922 from Dalaman to Manchester diverted to London Stansted this evening under the direction of the UK authorities.
“The aircraft landed safely and taxied to a distant stand, and customers have now disembarked.
“Our teams are working very hard to take care of customers, and we would really like to apologise to everyone onboard for any inconvenience or upset attributable to this unexpected incident.
“We understand that the authorities were alerted to a possible security threat, nonetheless this has been downgraded and the incident has been declared as over.”
The aircraft was met on the runway by officers from the Essex Police force.
In a press release issued within the early hours of this morning, Essex Police said they established there was no threat on board.
A press release issued on social media read: “We led a security operation during which a Jet2.com flight from Dalaman to Manchester was diverted to Stansted Airport tonight, Weds 2 Oct.
“Shortly before 9pm, we received a report of a possible threat on board. It was escorted to Stansted, where it landed safely.
“It was parked away from the predominant passenger terminal.
“The runway was closed for a time while enquiries were carried out.
“Officers were then able to determine there was no threat on board.
“Onward travel was then organised for the passengers and the runway was re-opened.”