Ryanair flight escorted into Stansted Airport by RAF jets

Social media users posted pictures of armed police on the scene and Essex Police said officers were investigating.
Social media users posted pictures of armed police on the scene and Essex Police said officers were investigating.

A security scare on board a Ryanair flight that was escorted by RAF jets and saw flights at Stansted Airport grounded was a suspected hoax, the airline said.

Passengers were evacuated after plane was diverted from its route between Kaunas, Lithuania, and Luton Airport in Bedfordshire, and forced to land at Stansted, Essex, at around 8.55am on Wednesday.

Social media users posted pictures of armed police on the scene and Essex Police said officers were investigating.

A Ryanair spokesman said: "This flight from Kaunas to London Luton diverted to London Stansted in line with procedures after Lithuanian authorities received a suspected hoax security alert.

"The aircraft landed normally at Stansted and customers will be transferred to Luton by coach when cleared to do so."

A spokesman for the airport said all flights had now resumed after being held for about 10 minutes.

The RAF Typhoon jets were sent from RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire to intercept the aircraft, the Ministry of Defence said.

A sonic boom echoed across the Suffolk skyline when the jets were scrambled, Suffolk Police confirmed.

An RAF spokesman said: "The RAF can confirm Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon aircraft were launched this morning from RAF Coningsby to intercept a civilian aircraft.

"The aircraft was safely escorted to Stansted Airport. The Typhoon aircraft were authorised to transit at supersonic speed for operational reasons; any inconvenience caused to local residents is regretted."