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Spanish fighter jet intercepted an Easyjet flight after a passenger faked bomb threat on social media

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A Spanish F/A-18 Hornet escorted an Easyjet Airbus A319 to Menorca, Spain, after a bomb hoax. Marcus Torr via REUTERS
A Spanish F/A-18 Hornet escorted an Easyjet Airbus A319 to Menorca, Spain, after a bomb hoax. Marcus Torr via REUTERS
  • A Spanish fighter jet intercepted an Easyjet flight on Sunday after a teenager faked a bomb threat online.
  • The F/A-18 Hornet escorted the Easyjet Airbus A319 to its destination in Menorca, Spain.
  • The 18-year-old hoaxer is awaiting a court hearing, Spanish police told Reuters.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

An Easyjet flight was intercepted by a Spanish fighter jet on Sunday after a teenage passenger faked a bomb threat on social media, police said.

The 18-year-old hoaxer, who was travelling on the London-to-Menorca flight with five friends, was arrested at Menorca airport, spent Sunday night in jail, and is awaiting a court hearing, Spanish police told Reuters on Monday.

Onboard footage of the intercept shows the Spanish F/A-18 Hornet rocking its wings at the Easyjet Airbus A319, a military signal that a plane has been intercepted and its pilot should follow course.

In the video, one of the passengers can be heard saying: "Why is it doing that, is it just showing off?"

The Easyjet plane landed safely in Menorca, a holiday island in Spain, just before 17:00 local time, around half an hour behind schedule. It was then escorted to a security area in Menorca airport where passengers left the plane one-by-one over a period of two hours, police told Reuters.

Passengers were asked to identify their luggage for checks by bomb disposal experts and sniffer dogs, as per Reuters.

In a statement shared with Insider, Easyjet confirmed that flight EZY8303 was escorted by a military aircraft, and that disembarking was delayed due to precautionary security checks.

"The safety and security of its passengers and crew is always Easyjet highest priority and we would like to thank passengers for their understanding," the statement said.

Aviation expert Julian Bray told The Sun that scrambling the fighter jet and paying for the fuel could cost the Spanish military more than $60,000. The Spanish Ministry of Defence may decide to charge this to the airline, according to Bray

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