IAF chief on China-bound Iran flight in India airspace, scrambling jets| Video

Updated on Oct 04, 2022 01:19 PM IST

A Mahan Air plane was headed to China's Guangzhou when it was asked to land in India.

Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari. ((ANI) )
Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari. ((ANI) )

Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari on Tuesday gave details about the response linked to an Iranian Mahan Air flight after its pilot chose to continue to fly to China’s Guangzhou when asked to land in Jaipur or Chandigarh. The IAF was reported to have scrambled Su-30MKI fighter jets to shadow the plane after inputs were received from Lahore’s Air Traffic Control (ATC) about a possible bomb threat. The threat, however, later turned out to be a hoax.

“The primary method of suspension of any aircraft, which is suspected to be a rogue aircraft… the first method is with the help of fighter aircraft, which are on readiness. You can signal to the pilots onboard or anybody else who has taken command of the aircraft that they are being followed, and they can be destroyed.”

“As per the given standard operating procedures, the response was to scramble fighters… initially two of them, from a base in Punjab. And then, thereafter, another two followed the aircraft,” the IAF chief was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

On Monday, an Airports Authority of Authority (AAI) had told HT that the landing permission to the aircraft "was denied by the Air Force through the ATC". "Lahore ATC had informed the Delhi ATC at around 9am about the bomb threat to the flight, after which the Delhi ATC had begin the SOP. However, the airline pilot, after sometime, informed the Delhi ATC that they will not be landing in any of the Indian airports," a Delhi airport official told HT. The IAF jets shadowed the Iran flight till it left the Indian airspace.

The Iranian flight in a tweet said that the report on bomb threat was “fake” and that the flight was safe. “In the name of Allah. Following the publication of an allegation of a "threat to bomb a Mahan Airlines flight over India and request an emergency landing", the public relations of Mahan Airlines informed that the Airbus 340 passenger plane of this company was traveling from Tehran to Guangzhou in China,” read a statement by the Mahan Air.

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