'Disruptive' passenger arrested after flight diverted

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The Independent Online

A passenger airliner was diverted under a fighter jet escort today after a man began making threats on board.

The Etihad flight bound for London's Heathrow airport was redirected after the pilot reported a disruptive passenger.

Two RAF Typhoon jets were scrambled to accompany the aircraft before it landed at Stansted Airport shortly before midday.

An Essex Police spokeswoman said a 37-year-old British national was arrested after it touched down.

She said: "A 37-year-old man, a British national, has been arrested following an incident onboard an Etihad Airways plane travelling from Abu Dhabi to Heathrow.

"The pilot reported a passenger causing disruption and making threats. The plane was was diverted to Stansted Airport were it landed just before midday.

"No one has been injured and the airport has been operating normally."

A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said: "Typhoon aircraft were launched this morning to escort a passenger aircraft due to an incident on board. The aircraft landed safely at Stansted Airport."

An Etihad Airways spokeswoman said the flight, EY19, was diverted because of a passenger.

She said: "The flight was diverted from Heathrow to Stansted. This was done to offload a disruptive passenger.

"It was a question of inappropriate comments made on the flight and a disruptive passenger. There was no threat to the safety of the aircraft or the passengers."