RAF jets escorted diverted Etihad flight
It has emerged in the British press that fighter jets escorted the Etihad Airbus into Stansted airport after a passenger made threats on board.
The Etihad flight heading from Abu Dhabi to London's Heathrow Airport was redirected after the pilot contacted air traffic control to say a man had begun making threats.
The News of the World reported that two RAF Typhoon jets were scrambled to accompany the 300-seater airliner belonging to the national airline of the United Arab Emirates before it landed shortly before midday.
The Heathrow-bound Etihad plane was diverted to Stansted after a 37-year-old man 'made threats' on board.
Waiting police immediately moved in on the man, a British national, and led him away for questioning.
An Essex Police spokeswoman said: 'A 37-year-old man, a British national, has been arrested following an incident onboard an Etihad Airways plane travelling from Abu Dhabi to Heathrow.
'The pilot reported a passenger causing disruption and making threats. The plane was diverted to Stansted Airport were it landed just before midday.
'No-one has been injured and the airport has been operating normally.'
A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said: 'Typhoon aircraft were launched this morning to escort a passenger aircraft due to an incident on board.
'The aircraft landed safely at Stansted Airport.'
A Stansted spokesman added: 'Etihad flight EY19 to London was diverted to Stansted in order to offload a disruptive guest on board.
Another man said the 37-year-old man, who is not thought to live in Britain, added: 'I heard he was very drunk and was making a scene.'
Passengers were kept on board the plane at Stansted while it was refuelled and then expected to fly on to Heathrow shortly after 4pm.
Essex Police said it had taken a decision not to reveal where the arrested man lives or what he is alleged to have said.
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