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IAF scrambles jets after ‘bomb scare’ onboard China-bound Iranian plane over Indian airspace | India News


NEW DELHI: IAF on Monday morning scrambled fighters to intercept and escort a Iran’s Mahan Airlines The flight transited through Indian airspace after receiving information from Lahore air traffic control (ATC) about a possible bomb on the passenger plane.
The Mahan Air flight W581, after hovering for about 40 minutes, was then allowed to continue on its predetermined route to Guangzhou in China after Iranian authorities told their Indian counterparts to “disrespect the bombing,” which was fake, officials said.
The Iranian plane, which subsequently landed safely in Guangzhou, was obscured by two Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets and closely monitored by the IAF until it left Indian airspace.
The alert was triggered when the plane, en route to Guangzhou from Tehran, entered Indian airspace from Pakistan shortly after 9am. “ATC Lahore informed Delhi ATC about the bombing on the flight,” an official said.
The IAF moved quickly to scramble the Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets one by one from Jodhpur and Halwara (Punjab) air bases, which were “following the aircraft at a safe distance”.
Mahan Air then requested Delhi ATC for the plane to make an emergency landing in Delhi. The plane was even tracked for a brief descent over Delhi-Jaipur airspace but Delhi ATC directed it to divert to Jaipur.
An IAF officer said, “The aircraft was given the option of landing at Jaipur and then at Chandigarh. However, the pilot has stated he does not want to divert to either airport.”
“After a while, Tehran received the intimacy to disregard the bombing. The aircraft is then allowed to continue its journey towards its final destination,” he said.
The IAF has “taken all actions” in accordance with the standing operating procedures adopted in conjunction with the civil aviation ministry and Civil Aviation Security Bureauhe added.

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