An Akasa aircraft made an emergency landing at Varanasi airport after the airline received a bomb threat message on social media on Friday. According to an airline spokesperson, the aircraft from Mumbai had 166 people onboard. The captain of flight QP 1498 received an “emergency alert” from the Varanasi Air Traffic Controller and followed all required emergency procedures and landed the plane safely at Varanasi.
“At 11.30 am, Akasa Air got a bomb threat message on social media. We informed the local police in Mumbai and initiated the procedure for filing an FIR,” the spokesperson said.
Subsequently, the emergency response mechanism was put in place and as part of the security protocol, the airline informed all the 16 airports from where it operates about the bomb threat and put them on alert, the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said the threat was later categorised as “non-specific”. According to the airline, there were 166 people onboard, including 159 passengers, 1 infant and 6 operating operating crew members in the Mumbai-Varanasi flight.
Varanasi Airport Director Puneet Gupta said that after a thorough security check, nothing objectionable was found and the aircraft was declared safe.
“Akasa Air flight QP 1498, flying from Mumbai to Varanasi on September 29, 2023 received an emergency alert from Air Traffic Control. The captain followed all required emergency procedures and landed safely in Varanasi,” the airline said in a statement.
All the mandated security procedures have been completed and the aircraft has subsequently been declared safe.