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03 October 2023

India flight evacuated, second time this week

By Reuters

Passengers on a Kathmandu-bound aircraft of India's Jet Airways were evacuated minutes before take-off from New Delhi on Wednesday due to a security alert, the second such incident this week on the same flight.

The plane's doors were closed and it was ready for take-off when the alert was raised, according to a Jet Airways  spokesman. All 122 passengers and seven crew members were asked to leave the plane and security agencies were investigating.

The incident comes two days after the same Jet Airways' Delhi-Kathmandu 9W 260 flight was delayed due to a security scare, but investigations later found nothing unusual.

"It is the same flight. This is something that doesn't happen normally," a company spokesman said.

Police at Delhi's international airport were not immediately available for comment on what caused the security scare. Indian media said police received an anonymous call warning bombs were on two aircraft.

The other aircraft, operated by Air India, was also headed to Nepal's capital Kathmandu. The plane was taken to a bay area and security personnel screened the baggage, the company said on its Twitter account.

In a separate incident, AirAsia India, part-owned by Malaysia's AirAsia Bhd, said late on Wednesday that it received a specific bomb threat after one of its aircraft landed in the southern city of Bengaluru from Jaipur in western India.

"In-flight cabin crew spotted the bomb threat in the aircraft after landing," AirAsia India said in a statement, adding that a search of the aircraft revealed nothing and the aircraft was allowed to resume normal operations.

Security was been beefed up across India this week because of Tuesday's Republic Day parade, at which French President Francois Hollande was the guest of honour.