London-bound Air India flight receives bomb threat, suspect apprehended

A London-bound Air India flight received a bomb threat on Tuesday but it turned out to be a hoax and a 29 year-old man suspected of making the threatening call has been apprehended here by authorities, an official said.

Security personnel conducted extensive checks on the aircraft and found no danger, allowing the flight to proceed as planned, a Cochin International Airport spokesperson said in a statement here.

According to him, a bomb threat call was received by the Air India call center in Mumbai early on Tuesday for flight AI 149, scheduled to fly from Cochin to London Gatwick.

The alert was promptly communicated to Air India here and the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) at 1.22 AM.

Following established protocols, a Bomb Threat Assessment Committee (BTAC) was immediately convened at CIAL.

The threat was assessed and declared specific.

Following this, thorough security checks were conducted by the Airport Security Group (ASG-CISF), airline security personnel, and inline baggage screening systems.

In accordance with the recommendations from the Cochin Airport BTAC, the aircraft was moved to an isolated aircraft parking point, and comprehensive security measures were undertaken.

The aircraft was thoroughly checked and subsequently cleared for flight.

The check-in process for AI 149 was completed by 10:30 am. The flight left for its destination at 1.25 PM.

It was originally scheduled to depart at 11.50 AM on Tuesday.

Efforts were made to identify the caller who reported the threat to the Mumbai call center.

Investigations revealed the call was made by Suhaib (29), a native of Kondotty in Malappuram district, who was scheduled to travel to London on the AI 149 flight.

Suhaib, along with his wife and daughter, was intercepted by ASG at Cochin Airport`s international departure terminal during check-in.

“He has since been handed over to the police for further questioning and legal action,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

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