SINGAPORE — Police arrested a passenger after a bomb threat forced a Scoot flight that was bound for Perth to turn back to Singapore on Thursday (Oct 12).
The 30-year-old Australian man was arrested for criminal intimidation, the police said, adding that investigations are ongoing.
The police said in a statement that they were informed of the bomb threat on flight TR16 at about 4.55pm after the flight took off at 4.11pm.
“The flight had departed Singapore and made a U-turn back to Singapore. The plane landed safely at Changi Airport at about 6.26pm,” the police said, adding that the plane was escorted back by Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) fighter jets.
The police completed security checks and arrested the man.
“The police take security threats seriously and will not hesitate to take action against those who intentionally cause public alarm.”
In response to CNA’s queries, Scoot said a “precautionary decision” was made to turn the plane back to Singapore due to the bomb threat.
“Scoot is assisting the authorities with their investigations. As this is a security matter, we regret that we are unable to provide further details,” the airline said.
“Scoot sincerely apologises for the disruption and inconvenience caused. The safety of our customers and crew is our top priority, and we will continue to provide assistance to our customers.”
RSAF said in a Facebook post that it activated two of its F-15SG fighter jets in response to the “suspected bomb threat”.
According to data from flight tracker Flightradar24, flight TR16 made a U-turn over Indonesia’s Bangka Island and headed back towards Singapore about 30 minutes into the flight.
It then entered a holding pattern over the South China Sea east of Malaysia, flying in loops for about 50 minutes.
The plane subsequently flew over Batam before landing at Changi Airport on Thursday evening. As of 6.50pm, the plane appeared to be stationary near the southern end of Runway 3 and had not returned to a terminal.
While this was in progress, several flights to Singapore including Singapore Airlines flight SQ331 from Paris, United Airlines flight UA29 from San Francisco and IndiGo flight 6E1013 from New Delhi were put in holding patterns over the Riau Islands.
These flights began landing shortly after TR16 touched down.
CNA has contacted Scoot and Changi Airport Group for more information. CNA
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