IAF scrambles jets to intercept flight from Iran after bomb threat

"Aircraft was offered option to land at Jaipur and then, at Chandigarh. But pilot declared his unwillingness to divert to either of them," IAF said.

Mike Pompeo, ex-US secretary of state, India, Pakistan, Sushma Swaraj
The Delhi Air Traffic Control (ATC) received inputs from the Lahore ATC that there was a bomb threat on the Mahan Air flight. Representational image: Twitter

The Indian Air Force (IAF) said it scrambled fighter jets to intercept a civilian flight from Tehran, Iran headed for Guangzhou in China on Monday (October 3) morning after a bomb threat.

The incident happened in the morning when Mahan Air flight W581 was flying over Indian airspace. The pilots decided not to land in India and proceeded to China.

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In a statement, IAF said, “On Oct 3, intimation was received of a bomb scare on an aircraft bearing Iranian registration, when it was transiting through Indian airspace. IAF fighter aircraft were scrambled, which followed the aircraft at a safe distance.”

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“Aircraft was offered option to land at Jaipur and then, at Chandigarh. But pilot declared his unwillingness to divert to either of them. After a while intimation was received from Tehran to disregard bomb scare. Aircraft continued on its journey towards final destination,” IAF added.

The IAF said all actions were taken by it as per the laid down procedure, jointly with the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).

The aircraft was under close radar surveillance by the Indian Air Force throughout the Indian airspace, it said.

According to reports, the Delhi Air Traffic Control (ATC) received inputs from the Lahore ATC that there was a bomb threat on the Mahan Air flight. Subsequently, the Delhi ATC informed the pilots but they decided to fly on.

As the aircraft did not follow the suggestion laid down operational procedures were put into action, reports said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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