When Abhishek Gupta (25) allegedly made the threatening call to the call center of Go Air -- a low cost domestic carrier, all he wanted was to not miss his flight.
His action, however, created panic at the Delhi airport, sent scores of airport and security officials into a tizzy and delayed the flight by about three hours.
Go Air’s Delhi-Bangalore flight (G8-201) was scheduled to take off at 8.45.
After Gupta reportedly called to say there was some suspicious activity happening around the Bangalore-bound aircraft, the airline officials informed the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).
Emergency procedures were immediately started at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport.
A bomb threat assessment committee was formed. The bomb disposal squad of BCAS and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) encircled the aircraft. All the 158 passengers on the flight were de-boarded and taken back to the airport terminal and their luggage was offloaded.
CISF was aware that one passenger had called up the airline office thrice asking them to reschedule the flight.
As the passenger was not found on board, CISF personnel near the airline counter were alerted. When Gupta arrived to take his boarding pass, he was apprehended and later handed over to Delhi Police.
The airline had also provided the passenger's voice sample to the BCAS.
An airline statement confirmed that a passenger who was late for his flight made the call.
The flight, which was scheduled to depart at 8.45 am, finally took off at around 11.30 am.
Hoax calls are nothing new for security officials at IGIA. Airport sources said at least one hoax call is received every fortnight about suspicious objects in aircraft, airport terminals or parking lots.
"We take all such calls very seriously and the standard operating procedures are stringently followed," CISF spokesman Rohit Katiyar said.