Britain scrambled fighter jets on Friday to escort a Pakistani International Airlines plane carrying 297 passengers from Lahore after it was diverted from Manchester, a spokesman for the Defence Ministry said. Police arrested two men on suspicion of endangering an aircraft. No surprise, CNN has not revealed the identity of the two passengers.
UPDATE #1 as of 5:44 PM EST: The two men arrested are alleged to be British Nationals, ages 30 and 41, and seated in Seats 61 & 62. Gee, they must have forgotten to release the identities?
UPDATE #2 as of 6.22 PM EST: Ahhh, now that’s better. From the UK Daily Mail: A photo of one of the men (green headrag) arrested for threatening the flight. The photo says it all, no names necessary now.
CNN Wajid Hasan, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, told CNN that the two passengers “got into an altercation with air stewardesses and threatened to blow up the plane.” The air stewardesses contacted the pilot, who contacted UK air traffic control authorities, who then scrambled the fighter jets, he said.
A top official with Pakistan International Airlines earlier said the diversion was prompted by an unruly passenger. “The passenger was simply causing a disturbance on the plane and threatening passengers and staff. This is a lesson to angry passengers,” the official said.
Tajwar told CNN that the plane was 20 minutes away from Manchester Airport and preparing to land when air traffic controllers there received reports of a “terror threat.”