Early Wednesday morning, a Ryanair flight from Lithuania heading to Luton airport in northwest London was diverted to Stansted airport, escorted by Royal Air Force fighter jets.
User Andy Longhurst posted photos of the RAF escort to Twitter.
— Andy Longhurst (@AndyLonghurstUK) October 4, 2017
When reached for comment, a Ryanair spokesperson said, “This flight from Kaunas to London Luton (4 Oct) diverted to London Stansted in line with procedures after Lithuanian authorities received a suspected hoax security alert. The aircraft landed normally at Stansted and customers will be transferred to Luton by coach when cleared to do so.”
Stansted, London’s third airport, corroborated the news.
Stansted Airport statement pic.twitter.com/NETYmE5KQ1
— STN Press Office (@STN_PressOffice) October 4, 2017
Flights into and out of Stansted were briefly held while the flight was being diverted, but have now resumed. Despite reports to the contrary, NATS (the UK’s air traffic service) noted that London airspace was not closed.
After reports by users on Twitter that they had heard a large boom, Essex county police tweeted that they are “aware of an incident at Stansted airport,” promising to bring more information as it comes available.
The flight has landed safely to Stansted airport, with police in attendance.
This is a developing story. We will continue to update as more information becomes available.