Fighter jets escort Singapore Airlines plane after man claims to have bomb in luggage

The hoax bomb threat was made on board a Singapore Airlines flight from the US (Getty Images)
The hoax bomb threat was made on board a Singapore Airlines flight from the US (Getty Images)

Fighter jets rushed to escort a Singapore Airlines plane as it came in to land in Singapore this morning after a passenger allegedly claimed to have a bomb in his hand luggage.

The threat, made on board flight SQ33 from San Francisco, was later found to be a hoax.

The 37-year-old man accused of making the bomb threat has been arrested and police are continuing their investigations, Singapore’s defence ministry said.

The plane landed at Singapore’s international airport, Changi, in the early hours of Wednesday (28 September) after being escorted by two fighter jets belonging to the city-state’s air force.

At about 2.40am Singapore time, more than 12 hours after take-off, Singaporean police were alerted to the bomb threat by the flight crew, the defence ministry said.

On board the plane, the suspect was restrained by staff after assaulting cabin crew members, police said in a statement.

He was later arrested under anti-terrorism measures and for suspected drug consumption.

After the flight landed at 5.50am local time, the plane was taxied to a remote bay for security checks and was later towed to the terminal.

The defence ministry said: “Teams from Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Explosives Defence Group and Airport Police Division were on site to verify the claims.”

All other passengers and crew were able to disembark the aircraft at 9.20am local time, a Singapore Airlines spokesperson said.

The Republic of Singapore Air Force confirmed that two of its F16C/D fighter jets were “activated” to respond to the incident.

It added: “Our fighters escorted the airliner till it landed safely at Changi Airport.”

Last week, Singapore Airlines was named the second-best airline in Skytrax’s 2022 World Airline Awards, which ranks carriers based on thousands of customer surveys.

The airline scooped a total of nine awards at the event, with its staff named ‘best cabin crew’.