As many as six international flights were delayed in Delhi and Bengaluru on Saturday after a hoax bomb scare, aviation officials said, triggering several hours of panic at two of the busiest airports in the country.
Airport authorities in both places said they received calls late in the night and early morning from anonymous callers saying bombs have been placed in some planes.
In Delhi, two of the planes affected at the IGI airport– a Jet Airways’ flight and a Cathay Pacific flight, both bound for Hong Kong – were already airborne when they were called back.
The third plane, A SwissAir flight bound for Zurich, was preparing to take off when it was aborted.
“The bomb threat assessment committee declared threat as specific at 2 am. Both the Jet Airways and Cathay flights were called back and taken to isolation bay after landing under emergency conditions. Swiss Air flight which was on-ground was also sent to isolation bay,” a source said.
A thorough search of the aircraft, passengers and their baggage was carried out by the security agencies and later all the three flights were cleared for take-off by them and the emergency was called off at 2:40 AM.
Jet Airways said in a statement that flight 9W078 for Hong Kong “returned to Delhi due to security reasons.” The aircraft had 194 passengers and 12 crew on board.
Sources said that some Air India flights from Delhi airport were delayed also due to a bomb threat call on Friday evening.
In Bengaluru, three flights were screened after the hoax bomb threat at the Kempegowda International Airport.
“Three aircrafts operated by Lufthansa Airlines (LH 755), Saudi Aradia airlines (SV 5643) and Air France (AF 191) had to be screened for security...The aircrafts have been thoroughly screened and were declared safe for operations,” a spokesperson of the airport said.
While the Lufthansa Airlines and the Saudi Arabia airlines departed, the Air France flight has been rescheduled.