KEY POINTS

  • The fighter jet escorted the EasyJet flight to Menorca airport
  • Passengers were only allowed to disembark after security checks
  • The 18-year-old, traveling with five other friends, was arrested 

A British teenager allegedly faked a bomb threat on an EasyJet flight, leading to a Spanish fighter jet escorting the flight to its destination.

The 18-year-old was arrested and could face a hefty fine for the hoax threat, officials said.

The teen prankster was traveling aboard the EasyJet flight EZY8303 from London to Menorca on Sunday with five other friends when the incident occurred, Business Insider reported.

A video shared online captured a Spanish F/A-18 Hornet intercepting the EasyJet plane after the bomb threat was made on social media. The Spanish fighter jet was filmed tipping its wings, which is known to be a gesture indicating that the pilot should follow them.

“Why is it doing that, is it just showing off?" a passenger was heard saying in the video.

The Spanish fighter jet escorted the plane until it safely reached the holiday island destination just before 5 p.m. local time. The flight landed about 30 minutes behind schedule.

Passengers aboard the flight were held on the runway for nearly four hours as officials conducted security checks with sniffer dogs. All the luggage was checked as well.

The 18-year-old hoaxer was arrested and reportedly spent a night in jail. He may have to foot the entire bill to cover the costs of the special operation triggered by his fake bomb threat.

“The Civil Guard has arrested an 18-year-old British national as the alleged author of a crime of public disorder in Mahon in Menorca,” a spokesperson for the Civil Guard said, according to The Guardian. “...The control tower at Menorca airport was alerted to a bomb threat on a plane heading from London to the island’s capital, Mahon, which was still in the air and nearing the airport. The threat was said to have been sent on a social media platform.”

“Once the plane landed it was taken to an area away from the main terminal and other aircraft. The Civil Guard organised a special operation which consisted of mobilising bomb disposal experts as well as sniffer dogs and other officers who created a safe perimeter around the plane,” the statement continued

The spokesperson said officials were able to confirm it was a false bomb threat and that the teenager was behind it.

Meanwhile, EasyJet confirmed that their London-to-Menorca flight “was escorted by military aircraft while landing in Menorca” and experienced “delayed disembarking.”

“The safety and security of its passengers and crew is always EasyJet’s highest priority, and we would like to thank passengers for their understanding,” the airline spokesperson reportedly said.

The 18-year-old responsible for the fake bomb threat could face a fine of around $59,900 (£50,000), My London News reported.

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Representative image Credit: Pixabay / JFK_Photography
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