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Bomb threat on plane from Iran To China, while in Indian Airspace

| Updated: October 3, 2022 13:50

An Iranian passenger plane going to China after passing through Indian airspace has received a bomb threat. According to sources, an alert was initially sounded and an IAF jet was called in. The aircraft soon flew out of Indian airspace and ATC operations were restored. Reports suggest that the passenger jet is now moving towards China and security agencies are keeping an eye on the plane.

The plane was on its way from Tehran in Iran to Guangzhou in China. Mahan Air is said to have approached the Delhi Airport ATC after the airline received a bomb threat and was called for an immediate landing at Delhi. Responding to Mahan Air’s call, the Delhi ATC had suggested the aircraft to make an emergency landing in Jaipur, but the pilot of the aircraft allegedly refused and left the Indian airspace, ATC sources said. The aircraft initially started its descent from its cruising altitude of 35,000 feet to 21,000 feet while in a holding position, around 200 km west of Delhi. It then exited the holding position and climbed back up to 35,000 feet before flying westward.

The Indian Air Force, in a statement, said: “On October 3, 2022, intimation was received of a bomb scare on an airline bearing Iranian registration, when it was transiting through Indian airspace. IAF fighter aircraft were scrambled, which followed the aircraft at a safe distance. The aircraft was offered the option to land at Jaipur & then, at Chandigarh. However, the pilot declared his unwillingness to divert to either of the two airports”, adding, after a while, intimation was received from Tehran to disregard the bomb scare, following which, the aircraft continued on its journey towards its final destination. All actions were taken by IAF as per the laid down procedure, jointly with Ministry of Civil Aviation and Bureau of Civil Aviation Security. The aircraft was under close radar surveillance by the Air Force throughout the Indian airspace.”

Yet, the Indian Air force has confirmed that the China-bound Mahan Air flight was now out of the Indian airspace. The aircraft had entered the Indian airspace when the alert from the ATC was shared with the plane.

Indian Air Force Su-30MKI fighter jets from Punjab and Jodhpur airbases were scrambled to intercept the plane, sources told.

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