After a passenger assaulted a member of the cabin crew and then claimed he had a bomb in his carry-on luggage, fighter jets were dispatched to intercept a Singapore Airlines flight leaving San Francisco early on Wednesday morning.
After becoming aware of the threat, Singapore’s Ministry of Defence stated it quickly sent out several F-16 fighter jets to intercept and accompany Singapore Airlines Flight SQ33 from SFO to SIN.
A team from the army’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Explosives Defense Group entered the Airbus A350-900 after it successfully landed at Singapore Changi Airport with 209 passengers and personnel aboard.
“The threat was subsequently verified to be false, and the suspicious person has been arrested. Police investigations are ongoing,” the Ministry of Defence said in a Facebook post.
The 37-year-old suspect was held by the crew while the plane was in flight, and he was later taken into custody for assaulting a crew member and making false terrorist threats.
Additionally, the man was detained on suspicion of ingesting a controlled drug.
The plane touched down at roughly 5:50 in the morning, but passengers weren’t allowed to leave until police stood down their operation at around 9:20.
The “unruly” customer hit one of Singapore Airlines’ cabin crew members, according to a statement from the airline.
‘Singapore Airlines apologizes to all affected customers for the inconvenience caused by this incident. “We are assisting our customers with the rebooking for any onward connections that they may have missed,” a spokesperson commented.
”We are assisting the authorities with their investigations and regret that we are unable to provide further details,” a statement from the airline continued.
With a distance of 8,446 miles, the flight from San Francisco to Singapore ranked among the world’s longest. The flight lasts roughly 15 and a half hours on average, but when the winds are strong, it can last up to 16 hours.