Dramatic moment easyJet flight intercepted by fighter jets over 'hoax bomb threat'

4 July 2022, 13:20 | Updated: 4 July 2022, 16:13

Spanish military jets diverted the Menorca-bound easyJet flight for security checks.
Spanish military jets diverted the Menorca-bound easyJet flight for security checks. Picture: Twitter/Ian Leslie

By Amy Addison-Dunne

Passengers were left shocked after their easyJet flight was grounded by Spanish fighter planes amid security fears.

The viral video circulating Twitter, believed to be filmed by a passenger aboard the flight, shows the fighter jet tipping its wings from side to side, believed to be a signal for the easyJet passenger plane to follow it.

The military aircraft then led the flight of holidaymakers to land in Menorca for security checks.

EasyJet confirmed the incident, and said the situation had been dealt with.

A spokesperson said: ""easyJet can confirm flight EZY8303 from London Gatwick to Menorca was escorted by military aircraft while landing in Menorca and delayed disembarking due to precautionary security checks.

"The passengers have since disembarked."The safety and security of its passengers and crew is always easyJet's highest priority and we would like to thank passengers for their understanding."

The Sun reports that it has since emerged the security alert was sparked by a Brit holidaymaker, 18, who allegedly made a bomb threat.

Witnesses said the plane touched down and specialist officers and sniffer dogs boarded to check out the aircraft.

How do fighter jets intercept civilian aircraft?

There is strict protocol for military personnel to divert passenger flights, and it should only be done as a last resort.

Radio contact should be initiated with the civilian aircraft beforehand, according to the European Aviation Safety Association.

Two jets are to approach the civilian aircraft, one must remain on the plane's tail, and the other pull up by the side of the plane.

Tipping of the wings of the military jet featured in the video is believed to signal that the civilian plane has been intercepted, and must adjust course to follow.