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False bomb threats on three Air France planes

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False bomb threats on three Air France planes

The situtation is tense. Over the last few days Air France has received three false bomb alerts. The first, via Twitter last Saturday, the day after the Paris attacks, at Amsterdam-Schiphol airport. The plane due for Paris was evacuated and searched, but finally the alert turned out to be a false alarm.

Last night, Tuesday to Wednesday, two Air France aircraft from the United States were diverted following a bomb threat. The first aircraft, out of Los Angeles, had landed in Salt Lake City (Utah), but left five hours later for Paris– the time to "make a complete check of the aircraft, passengers and their baggage", in the words of a company spokesman.

The second, from Washington, had landed in Halifax (Canada). The passengers were disembarked and accommodated in the city before the plane took-off again for Paris later in the day because of "regulatory limitation of the crew’s flight time". The FBI has opened an investigation to identify the individuals responsible for these anonymous calls.

Air France confirms that they are maintaining their flight schedules. Security has been strengthened near aircraft on the tarmac, with "all baggage in the holds or cabins being systematically scanned." The airline has taken commercial measures to enable passengers who booked a ticket for flying between 17 and 22 November to defer their flight free of additional charges. All relevant information can be found on Air France’s website homepage.

Security will be one of the major issues concerning the future of air travel, as evidenced by the fact that Moscow has just confirmed that the crash of the Metrojet Airbus A321 in Sinai (Egypt), on 31 October,  with 224 people on board, was caused by a bomb inside the aircraft.

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