Heathrow-bound flight intercepted by RAF fighters, diverted to Stansted

By Linsey McNeill
12/10/2023
Home » Heathrow-bound flight intercepted by RAF fighters, diverted to Stansted

A Kenya Airways flight bound for London Heathrow was escorted by RAF fighter jets to Stansted airport instead on Thursday afternoon due to a potential security threat onboard.

However, a spokesperson for Stansted, a designated airport for security risks, said the incident was later ‘stood down’.

The Kenya Airways Boeing 787 landed safety at the Essex Airport just before 15:45, where it was escorted to a remote parking stand.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson told the BBC: “RAF Typhoon fighter aircraft from RAF Coningsby were launched as a precaution this afternoon to investigate a civilian aircraft which was approaching the UK.

“The civilian aircraft remained in contact with air traffic controllers throughout, and was escorted to Stansted Airport where it landed safely. This incident is now under the control of the civilian authorities.”

A Kenya Airways spokesperson said it had been alerted to a potential security threat on board KQ100 as it was flying from Nairobi to Heathrow.

“KQ management in conjunction with the security authorities of the Government of Kenya and the United Kingdom carried out a thorough risk assessment of the threat,” they said.

“The crew on board were briefed, and all safety and security precautions were taken to ensure the safety and security of our crew and passengers on board.”

The airline’s CEO llan Kilavuka said there had been some suspicion around people onboard the flight, but said there was no bomb threat.

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