A Singapore Airlines Ltd. flight en-route from San Francisco was escorted by fighter jets after a passenger allegedly claimed there was a bomb in his carry-on bag and assaulted the crew, according to the police.
Singapore Airlines Flight 33 landed safely at Changi airport at 5:50am, the city-state’s Police Force said in a statement. The plane was taxied to a remote bay for security checks and was later towed to the terminal, Singapore Airlines said in a separate statement. All passengers and crew disembarked normally.
Fake bomb threats are fairly common in aviation while fighter jets are generally used when crew don’t respond to commands from ground handlers or an aircraft veers off its approved route. In July, an EasyJet Plc flight to Spain was escorted by a fighter jet after a British teenager made a bomb threat on social media, according to Reuters.
On Wednesday, residents living nearby reported hearing two loud fighter planes passing overhead just before 6am local time, one first, followed by another a few seconds later.
The 37-year-old male passenger was first restrained by the crew and was later arrested under anti-terrorism laws and for the suspected consumption of controlled drugs, the police said. Investigations are ongoing with the assistance of Singapore Airlines.
The involved aircraft, an Airbus SE A350 widebody jet, was following a normal flight path for a large part of its journey, but hovered over the sea off Singapore’s northeastern coast, descending several times to a lower altitude before eventually landing, data from Flightradar24.com showed.