A bomb threat was called in aboard the flight from Katowice to Athens.
A Ryanair flight from Katowice, Poland to Athens, Greece had to be escorted by two F-16s to its final destination on Sunday after a bomb threat was identified onboard the aircraft.
The bomb threat
Ryanair flight 6385 departed from Katowice Wojciech Korfanty Airport (KTW) in Poland at 2:22 pm Central European Time and was scheduled to land at Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos (AIA) in Greece at 5:05 pm Eastern European Time. A bomb threat was reported shortly after takeoff that forced the flight to be escorted by Greek fighter jets the rest of the way to its destination.
The flight landed in Athens at 5:39 pm local time and was directed to a remote part of the airport where it could be thoroughly searched by the police. All 190 passengers were safely evacuated from the plane, and no bomb was found after an exhaustive search of the cabin, passengers, and their luggage.
The aircraft in question was a Boeing 737. The origin of the bomb threat is unclear as of the time of writing of this article.
An increasing trend
Sunday’s bomb threat continues an unfortunate trend that has seen one threat every week of 2023.
On Saturday, an Azur Air charter flight from Perm International Airport (PEE) in Russia to Goa International Airport (GOI) in India was diverted to Termez International Airport (TMJ) in Uzbekistan after a bomb threat was called in. All passengers were able to disembark safely, and no bomb was ultimately found aboard the Boeing 757 aircraft serving the flight.
On January 7th, a Jetstar Japan flight from Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT) to Fukuoka Airport (FUK) was diverted to Chubu Centrair International Airport (NGO) for the same reason. As with the Azul Air flight, the bomb threat was ultimately disproven, and all 136 passengers and crew were able to deplane from the Airbus A320 safely.
Thankfully, the one thing that all three bomb threats have in common is that none of them were actually credible. However, the fact that there were so many threats in such a short time is cause for concern. As demand for travel continues to recover and, in some cases, even exceed pre-pandemic levels, it is imperative that transportation security agencies ensure that their security measures are up to standard so that they can ultimately ensure the safety of travelers and airline workers.
Sources: Euronews, FlightAware, and Reuters