A PLANE had to be intercepted by RAF pilots and ordered to land at Stansted Airport after fears it had been “hijacked”, according to a passenger on the flight.

Emergency services rushed to Stansted Airport at about 3.30pm on Thursday after a Kenya Airways flight from Nairobi To London Heathrow was diverted.

The change of course came after Kenya Airways KQ Headquarters received an alert of a potential security threat on board flight KQ100 at about 10.30am.

In conjunction with the security authorities of the Government of Kenya and the United Kingdom, a thorough risk assessment of the threat was carried out.

The Bolton News: Landing - A view from the plane after it touched down at Stansted AirportLanding - A view from the plane after it touched down at Stansted Airport (Image: Public)
The crew onboard were briefed, and all safety and security precautions were taken to ensure the safety and security of the crew and passengers on board.

Before long flight KQ100, a B788 aircraft with approximately 240 seats, was intercepted by the RAF’s quick reaction alert typhoons.

The plane is understood to have eventually touched down safely at Stansted Airport at 3.56pm before it was towed to a docking station and passengers disembarked.

According to one passenger on the plane, the crew onboard the aircraft was "alerted to a potential threat” and concerns were raised over a possible “hijack”.
The Bolton News: Emergency - Stansted Airport, where the flight was forced to landEmergency - Stansted Airport, where the flight was forced to land (Image: Newsquest)


A passenger on board the aircraft said: “We were leaving Nairobi they got intelligence the flight might have been hijacked.

"They then said the threat was checked and it was confirmed it was not deemed a threat but they wanted to treat it as such until they were absolutely sure.

"They then brought us here to Stansted as it's the airport equipped to deal with it."

As the plane landed, motorists on the A120 reported having seen what they believed to be bomb disposal units rushing towards Stansted Airport.”

A member of the public who witnessed the emergency response on the A120 told the Gazette: "Undercover police cars went flying past on the main road on the A120.

"There were bomb disposal cars flying through, three normal police cars swerving in and out of the traffic, and three fire engines.

"I had just passed Stansted and was heading towards Colchester.


"As I was coming past Coggeshall the police cars were speeding so fast – it was like a James Bond movie."

The Bolton News: Scene - Emergency services can be seen from the window of the planeScene - Emergency services can be seen from the window of the plane (Image: Public)

RAF bosses have now confirmed their jets were launched as precaution.

A spokesman said: “RAF Typhoon fighter aircraft from RAF Coningsby were launched as a precaution this afternoon to investigate a civilian aircraft which was approaching the UK.

“The civilian aircraft remained in contact with air traffic controllers throughout and was escorted to Stansted Airport where it landed safely.

Bosses at Kenya Airways confirmed the aircraft landed safely at Stansted Airport for security clearance by security personnel in the UK.

A spokesman for the airline added: "The safety and security of our crew and customers is our number one priority."