RAF jets intercept passenger plane off Scotland

Typhoon aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth and Coningsby responded to the incident. Picture: Ministry of Defence

Typhoon aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth and Coningsby responded to the incident. Picture: Ministry of Defence

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Typhoons from RAF Lossiemouth intercepted a passenger aircraft and guided it to land at Prestwick Airport in Ayrshire yesterday.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said contact with the aircraft had been lost, sparking the incident.

Prestwick was reportedly 'on lockdown' as the RAF jets escorted the plane to the airport. File picture: Robert Perry

Prestwick was reportedly 'on lockdown' as the RAF jets escorted the plane to the airport. File picture: Robert Perry

The plane was reported to have been en route from the French city of Toulouse to Keflavik in Iceland.

It is thought to have been a factory flight, branded with the insignia of Tijuana-based Mexican airline Volaris, with seven engineers and crew on board but no passengers.

An RAF spokesman said: “Quick reaction alert Typhoon aircraft were launched today from RAF Coningsby and RAF Lossiemouth to identify an unresponsive civilian aircraft.

"The Typhoon aircraft were authorised to transit at supersonic speed for operational reasons.

"Any inconvenience caused to local residents is regretted.

"Communications were re-established and the aircraft has been safely escorted by the Lossiemouth aircraft to Prestwick airport.”

Police Scotland said the aircraft was diverted to Prestwick at about 2:40pm and landed safely at 3:57pm.

It said: "A full emergency response has been put into action at the airport.

"Emergency services are in attendance to establish the full circumstances."

A Prestwick Airport spokeswoman said: “Once the aircraft was guided in safely and the police had spoken with the crew to establish the circumstances around the loss of communications and were satisfied that there was no safety risks, the airfield and roads were reopened and the airport returned to business as usual.

“This incident was handled by Police Scotland and was formally stood down at 5.40pm.

“Glasgow Prestwick Airport works closely with Police Scotland and other partners to prepare plans for incidents and we regularly test these to ensure our readiness.

“This plan was put into action and we are pleased with the way in which all agencies worked together to ensure the safety of our staff, passengers and the public, and - once it was confirmed that there was no risk to people’s safety - to return the airport to business as usual as soon as possible.”

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