Fighter jets escort Pakistani plane in British airspace

An RAF Typhoon jet has been scrambled to investigate an incident involving a Pakistani International Airlines plane in UK airspace.

by The Commentator on 24 May 2013 13:17

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An RAF Typhoon jet has been scrambled to investigate an incident involving a Pakistani International Airlines plane in UK airspace. It is reported the flight has been diverted from Manchester to Stansted.

Essex Police said its officers are responding after "an incident occurred on an aircraft, flight PK 709.

ITV news reports that the RAF has confirmed that one of its Typhoon jets was scrambled from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire in order to divert a passenger jet from Manchester Airport.

The aircraft, which is still in the air, is a Pakistan International Airlines passenger plane which was flying from Pakistan to Manchester, a Manchester Airport spokesman said.

The British Ministry of Defence has confirmed that RAF Typhoon jet escorting Pakistan Intl Airlines plane carrying 297 people diverted from Manchester to Stansted.

UPDATE: The plane is now reported to have landed at Stansted - the UK's designated counterterrorism airport. 

UPDATE 14:28: Sky News reports that the captain is now "more relaxed" about the situation.

UPDATE 14:34: Reuters reports that the diverted plane is not believed to be the subject of a terrorist attack.

UPDATE 14:44: Diverted PK709 plane at Stansted (photo credit RT)

UPDATE 14:50: Independent journalist Rob Williams tweets: "Odd: The very same plane on the very same flight had to be diverted to Stansted on September 7 2011 due to a bomb scare."

UPDATE 14:56: Essex police tweets: "Police have boarded plane diverted to Stansted Airport + arrested 2 men on suspicion of endangerment of aircraft"

UPDATE 15:36: Passenger onboard the diverted plane tells Sky News the captain informed passengers upon landing that there was indeed a terrorist threat. Police then boarded and arrested the two suspects

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