LONDON – Four bomb threats have been made to Polish & Russian commercial flights this month so far, with Flydubai, Ryanair & Azur Air affected. Is this becoming the new Norm?
The last week, including the last 24-48 hours, has been very extreme for aviation safety, with bomb threats causing major disruption across Eastern Europe.
With this in mind, I pose the following question: With the Ukraine Crisis still in full effect, is this going to become the norm moving forward?
Azur Air has had two bomb threats in the last two weeks, with the reasoning for these threats unknown but could possibly be related to Russia’s involvement in Ukraine, which we will come to later.
As per Simple Flying, ZF2401 departed Moscow Vnukovo International Airport at 1300 local time on January 9-10, inbound for Goa, India.
Before it could reach Goa, the bomb threat was communicated to the pilots onboard the aircraft, resulting in a diversion to Jamnagar Airport, controlled by the Indian Air Force.
The aircraft was then allowed to leave Jamnagar and continued onwards to Goa.
As for the second incident, the Azur Air Boeing 757 was involved in another bomb threat whilst operating ZF2463 between Perm and Goa.
ZF2463 didn’t get as far as the other flight, with the bomb threat received much earlier, resulting in a diversion to Termez Airport in Uzbekistan.
All passengers were deplaned from the Azur Air aircraft before being given the all-clear and continuing on to Goa once again.
The First of Two: Ryanair Bomb Threat in Athens…
Ryanair flight FR6385 was escorted into Athens by F-16s following a bomb threat against the flight on January 22.
FR6385 is a scheduled Ryanair flight between Katowice and Athens.
According to the Greek defense ministry, after arrival in Athens, the aircraft began proceedings of bomb inspection.
The aircraft was then released back into the custody of Ryanair, where the flight took off again a couple of hours later to Budapest.
The Second of Two: Flydubai Diverts to Krakow…
On the same night, a Flydubai Boeing 737 MAX 8 declared an emergency and diverted to Krakow.
FZ1830 is the Flydubai flight in question, originally operating a flight between Warsaw and Dubai.
This particular threat was far more serious, as it resulted in the closure of Krakow Airport for around three to four hours before opening up again just before 1 am local time on January 23.
One thing that is similar to all of these flights was the fact that all of the bomb threats turned out to be hoaxes, with no credible threat onboard.
Will This Become The New Norm During the Ukraine Crisis?
Such frequency of bomb threats will definitely worry those at Flydubai, Ryanair, and Azur Air for many different reasons.
The difference in these bomb threats is that they are with different airlines, rather than just the one being targeted with these threats.
However, with these flights originating from Poland, which is next door to Ukraine, and Russia, which Ukraine is being invaded by, it does offer an interesting perspective.
The Ukraine Crisis is providing somewhat of a tense time geopolitically, which could be part of the reason why these bomb threats around that area of Europe and beyond are being targeted with these threats.
It could all be related to the war in Ukraine, and there is evidence that can back this up.
At the time, many were in opposition to Air Serbia still serving flights into the Russian capital.
Things got so tense that even claims of an Air Serbia A330 being intercepted by NATO fighter jets were made by the Serbian President.
The argument here is that with Poland on the doorstep of the bloodiest conflict since the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and with Russian flights now being targeted, could we see more of these threats to commercial flights in 2023?