An Azur Air flight was forced to divert to Uzbekistan following a bomb threat.
On January 21st, an Azur Air flight was forced to divert off course to another airport after receiving a bomb threat. The flight in question was a charter flight being operated by the airline, which was en route between Russia’s Perm International Airport (PEE) and India’s Goa International Airport (GOI) when it received the threat. Following the threat, the pilots diverted to Uzbekistan’s Termez International Airport (TMJ), where the passengers were safely deplaned. None of the passengers or crew were injured in association with this incident.
The flight between PEE and GOI operated on a Boeing 757 registered RA-73071, departed PEE late on Friday, January 20th. As the plane flew through the night and into a new day, authorities at GOI received an email claiming that a bomb had been placed aboard the aircraft. Airport authorities stated that the threat was received at 00:30 local time on Saturday, January 21st. The threat came approximately three hours before the flight was scheduled to land at GOI.
Airport officials contacted Azur Air, local law enforcement, and Air Traffic Control (ATC). Once everyone was briefed on the situation, the decision was made to have the flight divert to another airport to reduce the disaster risk. ATC had the aircraft remain out of Indian airspace while a decision was made regarding the safest course of action. While over Pakistan, the crew was told to turn around and divert to TMJ.
GOI airport police told PTI the following concerning the threat,
“The flight (AZV2463) was diverted to Uzbekistan after an email was received at 12.30 am by the office of the Dabolim airport director, which said that a bomb was planted on the plane. The flight was diverted before it entered the Indian airspace. It landed at an airport in Uzbekistan around 4.30 am,”
The 757 was carrying 240 passengers and seven crew members. Upon arrival at TMJ, all passengers were deplaned safely, and the plane was searched. No bombs or dangerous devices of any kind have been discovered. The Russian embassy in India is following the developing story looking to do anything it can to help.
A spokesperson for the embassy shared with The Wire that the embassy is keeping tabs on the situation. They also shared that the aircraft was undergoing inspection at the time and that the airline was working on accommodating its passengers. They stated,
“The Embassy is closely following the situation around the Azur Air flight AZV2463 en route from Perm to Goa. According to available information, the plane made an emergency landing in Uzbekistan after a report of alleged bomb scare. The aircraft is being inspected, the airline is preparing accommodation of the passengers in hotels.”
This incident is the second in less than two weeks along the Moscow-Goa route. On January 9th Azur Air’s headquarters received an email stating that a flight between the two cities contained a bomb. The flight made an emergency landing at India’s Jamnagar Airport (JGA). GOI airport police were put on alert as the flight had been originally bound for that airport. Local law enforcement readied a quick response team and anti-terrorism squad at the airport following the bomb threat. All passengers were deplaned safely at JGA and rerouted. No explosive devices were discovered on the aircraft.
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Source: The Wire, FlightRadar24