Indian military jets were scrambled on Monday after a bomb alert on an Iranian airliner that turned out to be false, the Indian Air Force (IAF) said.
“IAF fighter aircraft were scrambled, which followed the aircraft at a safe distance. The aircraft was offered the option to land at Jaipur & then, at Chandigarh,” the IAF said in a statement, referring to two airports in northern India.
After a while, intimation was received from Tehran to disregard the bomb scare, following which, the aircraft continued on its journey towards its final destination: IAF
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The statement said the pilot was unwilling to divert to either airport, and that instructions were later received to disregard the threat.
“After a while, intimation was received from Tehran to disregard the bomb scare, following which, the aircraft continued on its journey towards its final destination. All actions were taken by IAF as per the laid down procedure, jointly with Ministry of Civil Aviation and Bureau of Civil Aviation Security. The aircraft was under close radar surveillance by the Air Force throughout the Indian airspace,” the statement said.
The Airbus A340 operated by Iranian carrier Mahan Air, with a capacity of between 320 and 475 passengers, was headed from the Iranian capital Tehran to Guangzhou in China.
Flight tracker websites showed that the aircraft performed several mid-air circles west of the Indian capital New Delhi before heading east towards its final destination.
AFP with additional input by GVS News Desk