LONDON – Authorities at India’s Mumbai Airport were placed on high alert after IndiGo Airlines received the warning of a bomb threat on Saturday night.
A threat email received by the airline warned that a bomb had been placed aboard the scheduled flight 6E 6045 operating between Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport and Ahmedabad.
The flight was held at Mumbai while authorities investigated the incident, however an inspection of the flight revealed nothing suspicious, and the email was deemed to be a hoax.
The Mumbai Police are currently investigating the source of the threatening email. It is understood that security at Mumbai has been strengthened as a result.
“Due to a specific bomb threat, IndiGo flight from Mumbai to Ahmedabad was impacted on October 01, 2022. The bomb threat protocol was initiated and the flight operated after all the checks were completed,” their statement read.
August 27: Previous threat against IndiGo
Yesterday’s incident in Mumbai is the second bomb threat that IndiGo has received in as many months. In August, a bomb threat was made against an IndiGo flight operating from Chennai to Dubai.
On August 27, the flight 6E 65 was delayed for 6 hours and security protocols were initiated, including the dispersal of the aircraft to a remote bay for inspection.
The flight resumed after the threat was deemed to be a hoax. In that instance the threat was apparently made by a man who wanted to prevent his family from leaving the country on the Dubai-bound flight.
September 30: Malaysia Airlines flight delayed
On Friday September 30, a Malaysia-bound flight was also delayed following a false bomb alarm after a fight broke out between two passengers on board a Malaysia Airlines flight out of Indira Gandhi International Airport.
In that incident, one of the passengers shouted the word “bomb”; however, this is a scenario which is always taken seriously by air operators and airport personnel. Security agencies were alerted after which they conducted a thorough search of the flight.
September 27: Singapore Airlines incident
The most recent IndiGo incident also comes just four days after a bomb threat was made against a Singapore Airlines flight.
Earlier this week, on Tuesday September 27, a Singapore Airlines flight between San Francisco (SFO), United States and Singapore Changi (SIN), Singapore, was escorted by fighter jets to Changi following a bomb threat by a passenger onboard.
The man had claimed there was a bomb in his hand luggage, and then allegedly assaulted a cabin crew member who tried to intervene. The plane landed safely at Changi, and the incident was found to be a bomb hoax.
In Tuesday’s incident, Singaporean authorities charged the man under international laws governing the Singapore Airlines flight operating in international airspace. The man had been found to be under the influence of controlled substances, and was required to undergo psychiatric evaluation.
Whilst the series of recent bomb threats have each been proven to be hoaxes, they are perhaps salient reminders of the ever-present need to maintain security, as well as to ensure the safety and wellbeing of passengers and also the air crew, who very often become the first line of defence during an in-flight incident.