x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Flydubai evacuates passengers over bomb threat

Travellers offloaded from Dubai-bound plane after one of the passengers makes bomb threat.

Passengers on board a flydubai flight from Amman to Dubai had to be evacuated before take-off after a passenger made a bomb threat.

A flydubai spokesperson confirmed that a passenger on flight FZ144 travelling from the Jordanian capital to Dubai yesterday had claimed to be carrying explosives.

The airline denied initial reports that the passenger, who made the threats, was also a co-pilot working for the company and confirmed that he was not an employee.

"The passenger in question does not, and never has, worked for flydubai," the spokesperson said.

"Flydubai takes the safety of our passengers and crew very seriously, so our crew immediately alerted the relevant authorities."

The passenger was taken away for questioning and the other passengers were also offloaded at Amman while a search of the plane was conducted. No explosives were found and the flight continued to Dubai International Airport.

"We would like to praise the authorities for their swift action, which ensured the flight suffered a minimum delay in take off of 1 hour and 5 minutes," said the spokesperson.

Earlier a Jordanian security official said the incident was sparked when the passenger, also a Jordanian, had said he wanted to see the captain as the aircraft was about to take off.

"When his request was refused, he claimed he had a bomb and threatened to blow the plane up," the official said.

"Police were alerted and managed to evacuate the passengers before beginning a search of the plane," he said.

"The passenger who made the bomb threat is a co-pilot who works in the United Arab Emirates. He said he was just making a joke. He was arrested, and an investigation is now under way," the security official added.