• The man claimed there was a bomb in a hand-carry bag onboard
  • The flight was around 13 hours into its journey when the incident happened
  • All passengers and crew members safely disembarked the aircraft after landing

A 37-year-old man was arrested over a hoax bomb threat on a Singapore Airlines flight that led to fighter jets escorting the aircraft to the Changi Airport.

The passenger also allegedly assaulted a cabin crew member while onboard the flight, which took off from San Francisco on Monday at around 10:05 p.m. local time. The SQ33 flight was around 13 hours into its journey of 16 hours and 25 minutes to Singapore when the man claimed there was a bomb in hand luggage, according to Channel NewsAsia.

"Preliminary investigations indicate that a 37-year-old male passenger had allegedly claimed that there was a bomb in a hand-carry bag, and had assaulted the crew," MINDEF, Singapore's Ministry of Defence, said in a statement posted on Facebook.

The disruptive passenger was restrained on the aircraft, following which the Singapore Police Force was informed about the matter. Two Singapore Air Force fighter jets escorted the aircraft until it landed at its destination at Changi Airport without any delay at around 5:50 a.m. local time Wednesday.

"...Teams from The Singapore Army's Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Explosives Defence Group and Airport Police Division were on site to verify the claims," MINDEF added in the statement.

Officials further verified that the bomb threat was false.

The suspicious passenger was arrested under anti-terrorism measures and for suspected drug consumption.

Earlier this morning, the Singapore Police Force was informed of a bomb threat on board Singapore Airlines flight #SQ33 from San Francisco to Singapore. Preliminary investigations indicate that a...

The ministry also noted that it will "treat every threat seriously" and thanked its teams for "professionalism and dedication to keeping Singapore safe."

Passengers and crew members safely disembarked the aircraft a few hours after landing, the airline confirmed.

"The safety of our customers and staff is always our top priority," Singapore Airlines said in a statement, according to CNN. "All passengers and crew have disembarked normally at 9:20 a.m. (Singapore Time). We are assisting the authorities with their investigations and regret that we are unable to provide further details."

The airline apologized to customers for the inconvenience caused by the incident.

"We are assisting our customers with the rebooking for any onward connections that they may have missed," the airlines added.

Representational image
Representational image (Source: Pixabay / traveLink)