False alarm on an Emirates plane returning to Athens airport

An Emirates plane leaving Athens for New York on Thursday had to turn around and return to Athens to be “checked”. Shortly before the return of this plane, another Emirates machine bound for Dubai was checked before take-off at Athens airport on Thursday evening.

An Emirates Airline Boeing 777-300ER-registered A6-EQC with 228 passengers and 18 crew on board, which took off from Athens Airport for New York Newark on Thursday evening as flight EK209, but had to return to Athens to be “checked”. just a false alarm, a police source said.

After information from foreign authorities that a suspicious person was on board this plane, the Greek police ordered the screening of his return to Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport‘ a police spokesman told AFP.

Escorted by two Hellenic Air Force F-16 fighter jets, the Emirates plane turned around about 45 minutes after takeoff from Athens airport after entering a holding pattern over Sardinia and then flying via a different route that avoided terrain. It landed at Athens International Airport around 22:00 local time (UTC+2) on Thursday. According to a police source, it was US authorities who warned Greek police about the presence of a “suspicious person” on board the plane.

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After a police check on all passengers and on the plane,”the person to whom the information relates has not been identified, or other suspicious elements‘ the Greek police said in a statement. According to an airport source, the plane was supposed to depart for New York on Friday, but in fact it returned to Dubai the same day. Passengers on flight EK209 have been rebooked to November 11 and provided with overnight accommodation.

Another plane checked

Shortly before the return of this aircraft, another Emirates aircraft operating flight EK210 from New York Newark to Dubai via Athens (Boeing 777-300ER registered A6-EQF) was checked before take-off at Athens airport on Thursday evening. Authorities did not identify anyone as a suspect and eventually the plane left Athens four hours and 10 minutes late.

man identified

Greek police identified the man at the center of a security alert on an Emirates flight who was forced to return to Athens. He is a Turkish citizen and has been living permanently in Greece for several years.

An email to the US Embassy in Athens said the person in question was boarding one of Emirates’ two evening flights from Athens.

Emirates flight EK209 to Newark returned to the Greek capital two hours after take-off and landed safely. Emirates flight EK210, which was due to fly to Dubai, was stopped before take-off in Athens.

Police said information about a possible suspect passenger was not confirmed by the inspections.

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