RAF jets scrambled to escort diverted Ryanair flight

Flights were temporarily grounded at Stansted Airport after RAF jets were scrambled to escort a Ryanair flight.

A RAF Typhoon jet escorting the  Ryanair passenger jet into Stansted airport this morning. Picture: SWNS
A RAF Typhoon jet escorting the Ryanair passenger jet into Stansted airport this morning. Picture: SWNS

A spokesman for the airport, in Essex, said police were on the scene after the passenger plane was diverted from its route between Kaunas, Lithuania, and Luton Airport, in Bedfordshire.

He added all flights had now resumed after being held for about ten minutes from 8.55am on Wednesday.

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“Flights were briefly held while RAF Typhoons escorted the plane in.

A Ryanair jet flying from Lithuania to Luton was escorted into Stansted Airport by RAF jets. Picture: PA

“All flights are now operating as normal;. It was literally a momentary pause.”

Essex Police tweeted: “We are aware of an incident at Stansted Airport. We will bring you more information when we can.”

A Ryanair spokesman said: “This flight from Kaunas to London Luton diverted to London Stansted in line with procedures after Lithuanian authorities received a suspected hoax security alert.

Police officers greet the Ryanair plane. Picture: PA

“The aircraft landed normally at Stansted and customers will be transferred to Luton by coach when cleared to do so.”

The jets were sent from RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire to intercept the flight, the Ministry of Defence said.

A sonic boom echoed across the Suffolk skyline when the jets were scrambled, Suffolk Police confirmed.

An RAF spokesman said: “The RAF can confirm Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon aircraft were launched this morning from RAF Coningsby to intercept a civilian aircraft.

A Ryanair jet flying from Lithuania to Luton was escorted into Stansted Airport by RAF jets. Picture: PA

“The aircraft was safely escorted to Stansted Airport. The Typhoon aircraft were authorised to transit at supersonic speed for operational reasons; any inconvenience caused to local residents is regretted.”

Police officers greet the Ryanair plane. Picture: PA