RAF fighter jets scrambled as Ryanair flight makes emergency landing at Stansted

13 July 2020, 19:52 | Updated: 13 July 2020, 23:19

Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

RAF fighter jets were scrambled on Monday evening to escort a Ryanair flight into making an emergency landing at London Stansted Airport.

The Boeing 737-800 aircraft - flying from Kraków in Poland to Dublin in the Republic of Ireland - was forced into making an unscheduled stop on Monday evening following reports of a security alert.

A statement from Ryanair explained that a note was discovered in one of the plane's toilets claiming there were explosives on board.

Essex Police confirmed the flight was diverted at around 6:40pm and that all passengers have now been safely removed from the aircraft.

Footage on social media appeared to show two RAF typhoons - scrambled from Coningsby in Lincolnshire - circling Stansted Airport shortly before 7pm.

They have now returned to their Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) station in eastern England, according to Sky News.

Arrangements are being made to get passengers to their destination after they are checked by police.

A Ryanair flight was escorted to Stansted Airport by two RAF fighter jets
A Ryanair flight was escorted to Stansted Airport by two RAF fighter jets. Picture: PA

A statement from the airline read: "A Ryanair flight from Kraków to Dublin this evening (13 JUL) discovered a note in one of the toilets claiming that there were explosives on board.

"The captain followed procedure by alerting the UK authorities and diverted to the nearest airport (Stansted) where the plane landed normally, but was taxied to a remote stand where passengers disembarked safely.

"The aircraft and passengers are being checked by the UK police who will decide when they may travel onwards to Dublin on a spare aircraft. Passengers in Dublin waiting to depart to Kraków are being transferred to a spare aircraft to minimise any delay to their flight.

"Ryanair apologises sincerely for the delay and inconvenience caused to those affected by this diversion."

In a tweet posted shortly after 9pm, Essex Police said: "We have now safely brought off all the passengers from the plane.

"The plane remains in an isolated area at Stansted and our enquiries are ongoing."

A spokeswoman for Stansted Airport confirmed to the Sun newspaper that the plane was diverted and that police are in attendance.

She told the publication that everybody on board was safe.

"Just the police are in attendance. The plane was diverted to the airport during a flight from Krakow to Dublin," she said.

Ryanair's FR1902 flight departed from Kraków at about 4.30pm but appeared to lose communication with Air Traffic Control.

YouTuber Andy Kirby shared footage of the RAF jets scrambling tonight, writing on Twitter: “Looks like two eurofighters? Circling Stansted Airport.”

The passenger plane remains at Stansted Airport, which is a designated airfield for emergency situations such as this.

Essex Police wrote on Twitter: "A flight from #Krakow to #Dublin was diverted to #Stansted Airport at around 6.40pm on Monday 13 July due to reports of a security alert.

"The plane is currently at the airport and officers are making enquiries."

Eyewitnesses told the Daily Star newspaper that the flight was surrounded by armed police when it touched down at the airfield.

Police are continuing investigations and there has been no confirmation of whether the bomb-scare was a hoax or legitimate.

This story is being updated...

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