Bomb scare on China-bound Iranian flight; refuses landing in India
A Mahan Air passenger airplane headed to Guangzhou in China from Tehran, Iran, received a bomb threat while transiting through Indian airspace on Monday morning. The Iranian airline reportedly contacted the Delhi airport's Air Traffic Control (ATC) for an immediate landing. The ATC then suggested the aircraft land in Jaipur, but the pilot refused and exited the Indian airspace to follow the original route.
The plane lowered its altitude in a holding position
A call regarding the bomb threat on the Airbus A340 aircraft operated by Mahan Air was received by security agencies in India at 9:20 am, reported ANI. Later, when the plane was around 200km west of Delhi, it began its descent from the cruising altitude of 35,000 feet to around 21,000 feet while in a holding position.
Plane later entered Bangladesh's airspace, heading to China
On way from Tehran, Iran to Guangzhou in China, Mahan Air contacted Delhi airport ATC after the airline received a bomb threat for an immediate landing at Delhi. Delhi ATC suggested the aircraft to go to Jaipur but the aircraft pilot refused left Indian airspace: ATC sources— ANI (@ANI) October 3, 2022
Flight was offered landing in Jaipur, Chandigarh
After contacting the Delhi ATC, the aircraft was denied landing at Delhi airport owing to technical difficulties and was offered to land at Jaipur and Chandigarh. The pilot, however, was unwilling to divert to either of the two airports, said the Indian Air Force (IAF) in a statement. It then climbed back to 35,000 feet and exited Indian airspace heading to its original destination.
Fighter jets scrambled for interception
IAF scrambled Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets from its Punjab and Jodhpur bases to intercept the aircraft as it was moving toward Delhi's airspace. The jets trailed the airplane from a safe distance as IAF radars closely monitored it throughout India's airspace. "All actions were taken...as per the laid down procedure, jointly with Ministry of Civil Aviation and Bureau of Civil Aviation Security," IAF added.
Intimation received from Tehran to disregard bomb scare: IAF
"The pilot declared his unwillingness to divert to either of the two airports [Jaipur and Chandigarh]. After a while, intimation was received from Tehran to disregard the bomb scare, following which, the aircraft continued on its journey toward its final destination," the IAF further stated.