Man arrested over bomb hoax after Qatar Airways plane escorted to Manchester Airport by fighter jet

UPDATED: Man arrested over bomb hoax after emergency landing at Manchester Airport

The RAF Typhoon fighter jet escorting the Qatar Airways plane as it comes in to land at Manchester Airport. Picture from video shot by passenger Josh Hartley.

Stock picture of a Qatar Airways plane

First published in News
Last updated
Bury Times: Photograph of the Author by , crime reporter

A PASSENGER has been arrested on suspicion of making a hoax bomb threat after an emergency landing at Manchester Airport.

Fears were initially raised over "a possible device on board" by the pilot on board flight QR23 from Doha, Qatar, as it approached the airport.

Dramatic video footage and photos showed an RAF jet accompanying the Qatar Airways Airbus A330 as it made its descent, while passengers reported a man being removed from the plane after it landed safely.

Less than hour after the first reports, Greater Manchester Police confirmed the arrest was related to a suspected hoax.

Witnesses reported seeing the plane being escorted by fighter jets as it came in to land.

Police initially said the actions were the result of an alert over a possible "device" on board.

It is understood armed police were waiting at the airport when the plane landed, and the area has been evacuated.

The plane landed safely and was searched, but nothing untoward was found.

Ch Superintendent John O’Hare said: “An incoming plane has been escorted into the airport by the Royal Air Force as a result of information received by the pilot about a possible device on board.

“We don’t know how genuine this threat is but it is absolutely vital we deal with the situation as a full emergency.

“As a result people will see the police and other agencies at the airport and on the airfield.

“At this time I would urge them not to be alarmed.

"Our response will be as comprehensive as it is proportionate with the safety of those on board and in and around the airport our paramount concern.”

He later issued a statements saying: "Today’s incident at the Manchester Airport has received widespread coverage and interest so it is right we update everybody.

“We can confirm the incident is over and it’s business as usual at the airport.

“The incident arose when the pilot received information about a possible device on board the plane having been handed a note from a passenger.

"As a result a full emergency activation commenced that involved the aircraft being escorted in by the RAF before specialist officers boarded and subsequently made an arrest.

"A 47-year-old man from the North West has been arrested on suspicion of making a bomb hoax and remains in police custody for questioning.

“A full search of the aircraft has now finished and nothing suspicious was found.”

The airline said in a statement: "Qatar Airways can confirm that flight QR23 from Doha to Manchester, an Airbus A330-300, landed safely at Manchester Airport ahead of its scheduled arrival time of 1315.

"There were 269 passengers and 13 Qatar Airways crew on board.

"The crew on-board had received a threat about a possible device on board and Qatar Airways immediately took all the necessary precautions to alert British authorities.

"The crew is now fully assisting police at the airport with their inquiries. The safety and well-being of our passengers and crew is our top priority.

"As this is a matter of a police investigation, we cannot comment further at this time."

Manchester Airport said nine incoming flights had to be diverted to other airports including Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Leeds Bradford airport.

The spokesman said the airport reopened after 25 minutes.

An RAF spokesman said: "We can confirm that Typhoon aircraft were launched from RAF Coningsby in their quick reaction alert role to investigate a civilian aircraft whose pilot had requested assistance.

"The aircraft was escorted to Manchester where it landed safely. This incident is now being handled by the civilian authorities."

Comments (12)

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2:58pm Tue 5 Aug 14

Tim Burr says...

I was in Cheadle when the Typhoon came over followed by the Qatar Airways plane. The Typhoon had to circle the jet a few times as it decelerated for a perfectly normal landing.
I was in Cheadle when the Typhoon came over followed by the Qatar Airways plane. The Typhoon had to circle the jet a few times as it decelerated for a perfectly normal landing. Tim Burr
  • Score: 7

3:07pm Tue 5 Aug 14

mililly says...

Absolutely disgusting making false threats..hope hes locked up
Absolutely disgusting making false threats..hope hes locked up mililly
  • Score: 17

4:02pm Tue 5 Aug 14

Sydthebudgie says...

I hope the RAF send him the bill for the fighter-plane escort.
I hope the RAF send him the bill for the fighter-plane escort. Sydthebudgie
  • Score: 17

5:32pm Tue 5 Aug 14

cosmicma says...

last time i heard of this happening ( hoax bomb threat ) the lad ended up serving 6 months at her majesty's pleasure
it's a good few years ago and coincidently the plane made an emergency landing at manchester airport too because of it

the chances are the authorities take a dimmer view of it now than they did back then it wouldn't surprise me if a longer sentence was given today
last time i heard of this happening ( hoax bomb threat ) the lad ended up serving 6 months at her majesty's pleasure it's a good few years ago and coincidently the plane made an emergency landing at manchester airport too because of it the chances are the authorities take a dimmer view of it now than they did back then it wouldn't surprise me if a longer sentence was given today cosmicma
  • Score: 10

5:51pm Tue 5 Aug 14

GreatLever says...

I can't really see the point of the RAF plane - what would it have done, shot the Qatar plane out of the sky?
I can't really see the point of the RAF plane - what would it have done, shot the Qatar plane out of the sky? GreatLever
  • Score: -4

6:18pm Tue 5 Aug 14

manchester1 says...

GreatLever wrote:
I can't really see the point of the RAF plane - what would it have done, shot the Qatar plane out of the sky?
Yes they would
[quote][p][bold]GreatLever[/bold] wrote: I can't really see the point of the RAF plane - what would it have done, shot the Qatar plane out of the sky?[/p][/quote]Yes they would manchester1
  • Score: 20

7:11pm Tue 5 Aug 14

catsden says...

Lock him up for life SCUM
Lock him up for life SCUM catsden
  • Score: 9

7:13pm Tue 5 Aug 14

catsden says...

Name and Shame the scum
Name and Shame the scum catsden
  • Score: 12

7:57pm Tue 5 Aug 14

Percy Thrower says...

manchester1 wrote:
GreatLever wrote:
I can't really see the point of the RAF plane - what would it have done, shot the Qatar plane out of the sky?
Yes they would
Tony Blair said in his autobiography that he was seconds away from making a decision to shoot down a passenger plane. No way would we ever let another plane be crashed into anything that would cause anything like 9/11
No other logical reason for it to be there
[quote][p][bold]manchester1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]GreatLever[/bold] wrote: I can't really see the point of the RAF plane - what would it have done, shot the Qatar plane out of the sky?[/p][/quote]Yes they would[/p][/quote]Tony Blair said in his autobiography that he was seconds away from making a decision to shoot down a passenger plane. No way would we ever let another plane be crashed into anything that would cause anything like 9/11 No other logical reason for it to be there Percy Thrower
  • Score: 11

9:58pm Tue 5 Aug 14

SSMassive says...

What a great comment "what would they do shoot it down"! That's why they sent a typhoon numb nuts a fighter aircraft
What a great comment "what would they do shoot it down"! That's why they sent a typhoon numb nuts a fighter aircraft SSMassive
  • Score: 2

11:08pm Tue 5 Aug 14

Tim Burr says...

GreatLever wrote:
I can't really see the point of the RAF plane - what would it have done, shot the Qatar plane out of the sky?
Scrambling the fighters is for your own security - If the aircraft was carrying a device that detonated there isn't much they can do - if it was to deviate off course (the RAF take over ATC) say towards Great Lever, first it would be monitored visually for a flight deck activity - then if was being flown erratically with variations in altitude and speed, the painful decision to take action would be taken. The sequence would usually begin with a few warning shots from the fighters cannon, followed by a missile, the order coming from the highest authority.
[quote][p][bold]GreatLever[/bold] wrote: I can't really see the point of the RAF plane - what would it have done, shot the Qatar plane out of the sky?[/p][/quote]Scrambling the fighters is for your own security - If the aircraft was carrying a device that detonated there isn't much they can do - if it was to deviate off course (the RAF take over ATC) say towards Great Lever, first it would be monitored visually for a flight deck activity - then if was being flown erratically with variations in altitude and speed, the painful decision to take action would be taken. The sequence would usually begin with a few warning shots from the fighters cannon, followed by a missile, the order coming from the highest authority. Tim Burr
  • Score: 4

9:22am Wed 6 Aug 14

JohnTheBaptist says...

Tim Burr wrote:
GreatLever wrote:
I can't really see the point of the RAF plane - what would it have done, shot the Qatar plane out of the sky?
Scrambling the fighters is for your own security - If the aircraft was carrying a device that detonated there isn't much they can do - if it was to deviate off course (the RAF take over ATC) say towards Great Lever, first it would be monitored visually for a flight deck activity - then if was being flown erratically with variations in altitude and speed, the painful decision to take action would be taken. The sequence would usually begin with a few warning shots from the fighters cannon, followed by a missile, the order coming from the highest authority.
Maybe wmd in 19 mins was found.
[quote][p][bold]Tim Burr[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]GreatLever[/bold] wrote: I can't really see the point of the RAF plane - what would it have done, shot the Qatar plane out of the sky?[/p][/quote]Scrambling the fighters is for your own security - If the aircraft was carrying a device that detonated there isn't much they can do - if it was to deviate off course (the RAF take over ATC) say towards Great Lever, first it would be monitored visually for a flight deck activity - then if was being flown erratically with variations in altitude and speed, the painful decision to take action would be taken. The sequence would usually begin with a few warning shots from the fighters cannon, followed by a missile, the order coming from the highest authority.[/p][/quote]Maybe wmd in 19 mins was found. JohnTheBaptist
  • Score: 1

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