Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said the person behind the “bomb threat” on a Mumbai-Delhi Jet Airways flight had been identified and would be put on the no-fly list.
Flight 9W 339, carrying 115 passengers and seven crew members, was diverted to Ahmedabad airport on Monday morning after a letter threatening to blow off the plane was found onboard by an airhostess. The letter also mentioned that there were 12 hijackers and the plane should be flown directly to Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK).
However, the flight, which had taken off from Mumbai at 2.55 am, landed safely at Ahmedabad airport at 3.45 am. After a round of stringent security check of the aircraft and the cargo area, the flight was cleared to take off for Delhi. “I am informed that the person responsible for Jet flight 339 (Mumbai-Delhi) incident causing the landing at Ahmedabad today morning has been identified,” Raju tweeted.
The minister didn’t disclose the identity of the individual, even though ANI reported a person named Salla Birju confessed that he had kept the letter to destabilise operations. “I am advising airlines to put him on the no-fly list immediately, in addition to other statutory criminal action,” Raju said in another tweet.
The Monday morning drama started when a cabin member found a “printed note” stating that there was a bomb in the cargo area of the plane, a senior official of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) said. “Jet Airways flight 9W 339 of October 30, 2017, a Boeing 737-900 from Mumbai to Delhi, diverted to Ahmedabad following a declaration of an emergency as per established security procedures, due to the detection of an onboard security threat,” a Jet spokesperson said.
The airline has already launched an investigation into the incident and sought a report on how the “letter” made its way into the plane. “The aircraft landed without incident at Ahmedabad and was parked at a remote bay, where all 115 guests and 7 crew members were safely deplaned. Jet Airways is extending full cooperation to the security agencies who are investigating the matter,” the carrier added.