MANCHESTER: Britain launched Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jets on Friday to escort a Pakistani International Airlines (PIA) aircraft carrying 297 passengers after it was diverted from Manchester to Stansted Airport, a spokesman for the Defence Ministry said.
According to reports, British police arrested two passengers named Ammara Ashraf and Muhammad Shafqat and removed them from the plane on suspicion of endangerment of an aircraft. However, they were later released after interrogation.
The two detained passengers, having seat numbers 61, 62, had a fight with the crew and then gave some threats on which the pilot alerted ATC, reports said.
“Typhoon aircraft from RAF Coningsby have been launched to investigate an incident involving an aircraft in UK airspace,” the MoD spokesman said.
British security sources said that according to initial indications the plane was not subject to a terror attack.
Flight PK709 from the city of Lahore in Pakistan was due to land at Manchester Airport in north west England at 1230 GMT.
The plane was diverted to Stansted airport, east of central London, according to a Manchester Airport spokesman.
Essex Police, who are responsible for the area where Stansted is located, said an incident had occurred on a flight and they were investigating.
The news comes two days after a soldier was hacked to death on a London street in an incident the government are treating as a terrorist incident.