RAF fighter jets scrambled to escort passenger plane to airport in Scotland after mid-flight emergency

Volaris Airlines plane lands safely at Glasgow Prestwick Airport

Lizzie Dearden
Friday 28 October 2016 16:48 BST
The plane performed an emergency landing at Glasgow Prestwick Airport
The plane performed an emergency landing at Glasgow Prestwick Airport (Raymond Okonski/Creative Commons)

The RAF has scrambled fighter jets to escort a passenger plane to an airport in Scotland after it lost communication with the ground.

Typhoons were sent to find the Volaris Airlines Airbus A320 to Glasgow Prestwick Airport, where it landed safely yesterday afternoon.

The alarm was raised when the plane lost contact at around 2.40pm, triggering a mid-air emergency.

A spokesperson for the RAF said the Typhoon jets were sent at “supersonic speed”, triggering a loud sonic boom heard across Scotland.

“Quick reaction alert Typhoon aircraft were launched today from RAF Coningsby and RAF Lossiemouth to identify an unresponsive civilian aircraft," he added.

“The Typhoon aircraft were authorised to transit at supersonic speed for operational reasons, any inconvenience caused to local residents is regretted.

“Communications were re-established and the aircraft has been safely escorted by the Lossiemouth aircraft to Prestwick Airport.”

The Mexican plane, which is understood to have been en route to Iceland, landed safely and an investigation is being carried out into the loss of communications.

A spokesperson for Police Scotland said a full emergency response was put into action and the incident was under investigation.

“An aircraft has been diverted to Glasgow Prestwick Airport, Ayrshire around 2.40pm, following reports of a temporary loss of communication," she added.

“The aircraft landed safely at 3.57pm. Emergency services are in attendance to establish the full circumstances.”

Airport officials said some roads were temporarily closed as a precaution as investigations continued.

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