A NEW YORK-bound Emirates flight carrying nearly 250 people was forced to return to Athens shortly after takeoff following a suspected terror alert.
Security sources in Ireland told The Journal that the flight’s route was due to see it transit near or across Irish airspace en route to the US.
Officials said the information related to “a suspicious person travelling on board”.
A police spokesperson said the plane was accompanied back to Athens’ Eleftherios Venizelos international airport by two F-16 Greek air force fighter jets.
Flight EK-210 was turned back 45 minutes after takeoff and landed at around 10.00pm (8pm Irish time), the spokesperson said, adding that searches were ongoing on the plane.
The flight was carrying 228 passengers and 18 crew.
Greek broadcasting channel ERT reported that US authorities warned Greek police of the presence of a “suspicious person” on board the plane.
Earlier today, another Emirates flight to Dubai was not allowed to take off from Eleftherios Venizelos and all passengers were checked also for security concerns but nothing suspicious was found, police sources added.
That flight took off after a five-hour delay.
In a statement, for Emirates confirmed that both flights were affected, but that passengers had been re-booked on other services.
“Emirates apologises for the inconvenience caused,” a spokesperson added.
Source: The Journal