Lands safely at Stansted airport after suspected "hoax" security alert

By Natasha Bach
October 4, 2017

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.

@BBCEngland Not a sight you see everyday. Ryanair flight being tailed by a fighter plane. Something going on? Hope all is well over Suffolk pic.twitter.com/4yFTom2lMF

— Andy Longhurst (@AndyLonghurstUK) October 4, 2017

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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

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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.

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