German air traffic control warns crew of Dublin-Krakow flight before unscheduled landing in Germany
German air traffic control warned the crew of the Dublin-Krakow flight of the potential threat and the captain followed procedures and diverted to Berlin, the nearest airport, Ryanair said in a statement.
The aircraft was taken to a parking spot away from the terminal.
The 160 passengers on board the Boeing 737 plane were taken inside the terminal and underwent “extensive security checks” along with their baggage, but nothing untoward was found.
Once they were cleared, passengers were flown to Krakow on a spare plane after an eight-hour delay.
Security threats against aircraft mid-flight are rare but not unheard of.
Last summer, a Ryanair flight from Krakow to Dublin had to divert to Stansted Airport after receiving a bomb threat. Two people were arrested following the incident but no suspect device was found.
Sunday’s incident follows a week after another Ryanair flight diverted to Minsk after authorities in Belarus ordered it to land. A dissident journalist on board the plane was then arrested, sparking a major diplomatic showdown which led to many airlines avoiding Belarusian airspace.
In a statement about the latest diversion to Berlin, Ryanair said: “The crew on a Ryanair flight from Dublin to Krakow FR1901 yesterday (30 May) were notified by German ATC of a potential security threat on board.
“The captain followed procedures and diverted to the nearest airport, Berlin.
“The aircraft landed safely and passengers were offloaded to facilitate extensive security checks of passengers and all baggage.
“Once cleared by German authorities, passengers travelled onwards to Krakow on a spare Ryanair aircraft after a delay on the ground of approx. eight hrs.
“Return passengers from Krakow to Dublin travelled on a spare aircraft, with a delay of less than 15 mins.
“Ryanair apologises sincerely to all affected passengers for this unavoidable delay, which was outside the airline’s control.”
German federal police said early on Monday morning that their deployment was finished, but declined to give details of what led to it, news agency dpa reported.