A Ryanair passenger plane was intercepted by typhoon jets at Stansted Airport - here's why

A RAF spokesperson explained that "Typhoon fighter aircrafts from RAF Coningsby were launched... to intercept a civilian aircraft” adding that “The aircraft was escorted safely to Stansted."
(Shutterstock File Image)
A RAF spokesperson explained that "Typhoon fighter aircrafts from RAF Coningsby were launched... to intercept a civilian aircraft” adding that “The aircraft was escorted safely to Stansted." (Shutterstock File Image)

Two men were arrested at Stansted Airport under the Terrorism Act after Typhoon jets intercepted a Ryanair passenger plane following a “potential security threat on board”.

Armed police surrounded the civilian plane once it was grounded and secured in an isolated part of Stansted airport.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

Essex police then arrested a 34-year-old man from Kuwait and a 48-year-old man from Italy shortly after 7pm on Sunday.

Prior to their arrest the pair had been passengers on a Ryanair flight from Vienna.

In a statement, Essex Police said, "Counter Terrorism Policing officers from the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit have this evening (Sunday) detained two men under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act (2000), adding that "enquiries are ongoing."

A RAF spokesperson explained that "Typhoon fighter aircrafts from RAF Coningsby were launched... to intercept a civilian aircraft” adding that “The aircraft was escorted safely to Stansted."

What was the ‘security threat’?

A spokesperson for Ryanair, the airline that owns the Lauda passenger aircraft, added further detail to the story explaining, "The crew of a Ryanair flight from Vienna to London Stansted this evening (30 Aug) were alerted of a potential security threat on board”.

A Ryanair spokesperson added, "In line with procedures, the captain informed UK authorities and continued to London Stansted, where the aircraft landed normally and taxied to a remote stand where passengers disembarked safely.

"Passengers in London Stansted waiting to depart to Vienna were transferred to a spare aircraft to minimise the delay to their flight.

The threat was in the form of a ‘suspicious device” found in a passenger toilet.

However after detainment and further investigation the device was found to be a mobile phone.

The men have since been released after the police confirmed they were not considered to have committed any crimes.