Scandinavian Airlines plane from London to Stockholm diverted after bomb threat

No explosives were found on board and police are investigating the person who made the threat

A flight from London to Stockholm has been forced to do an emergency landing after receiving a reported bomb threat.

Tom Onslow-Cole, a British racing driver, was among the 72 passengers and five crew on board Scandinavian Airlines flight 1530 on Friday.

He told The Independent that no one was aware the plane was being diverted to Landvetter Airport until it landed shortly before 10am (9am GMT) and they were told they had arrived at a different airport.

Flightradar24 data showed the plane diverting over Sweden

Mr Onslow-Cole said the Boeing 737-600 was parked at the end of the runway and everyone was taken off as police boarded to carry out searches.

“The captain made an announcement while we were in a holding area that it was something to do with a social media post,” he said. 

“There was some confusion with a United Airlines flight number that is similar and apparently that’s where the threat came from.”

A Scandinavian Airlines source told The Independent the confusion was believed to have stemmed from “codesharing”, which means that United Airlines can sell the London-Stockholm flight under its own name.

A Twitter threat was reportedly directed at the American company but consequently affected the Scandinavian Airlines flight that was operating the journey.

A spokesperson for Swedish airport operator Swedavia said it had no information on how the alert came in and that the matter would be handled by police.

"There was a bomb threat towards an aircraft coming in from London Heathrow to Stockholm and it had to land in Gothenburg,” she added.

"Police and the bomb squad are going through the aircraft."

United Airlines said it was not aware of any threats involving its aircraft but confirmed "an unsubstantiated threat relating to a codeshare flight".

Mr Onslow-Cole and fellow passengers were still waiting to get their luggage back four hours after landing but were being helped to continue their journeys.

The 28-year-old said everyone had been “really relaxed” because they were unaware of the security alert until they arrived at the airport, although they only learned of the nature of the scare on the internet.

“It was very calm until one of the passengers found a news article online saying there had been a bomb threat,” he added.

After disembarking, Mr Onslow-Cole photographed his complementary meal voucher, which simply gave the reason as “BOMB”.

Several hours of police searches uncovered no explosive devices and officers have now launched an investigation to find the person who made the threat.