Singapore — Two fighter jets from the Republic of Singapore’s Air Force were deployed to escort a Scoot flight from Cebu on Sunday afternoon, June 2. The fighter jets were sent out as a result of a bomb scare on a flight that originated from Cebu, Philippines, and was scheduled to arrive in Singapore later that day.
At 6:15 pm, Ng Eng Hen, the country’s Defence Minister, announced via his Facebook account that the bomb scare was a false alarm.
He wrote, “Two of The Republic of Singapore Air Force’s F-15SGs scrambled to escort an inbound FlyScoot plane from Cebu after a bomb scare, but it turned out, after investigations, to be a false alarm.
The SAF takes every threat as real and seriously, until proven otherwise. The RSAF will stay ever vigilant.”
Two The Republic of Singapore Air Force’s F-15SGs scrambled to escort an inbound FlyScoot plane from Cebu after a bomb…
The Police also issued a statement saying that they had earlier received a report concerning a security threat to Scoot Flight TR 385, which was scheduled to land in the country on June 2.
The statement also confirmed that the 144 passengers and 6 crew members had arrived safely and deplaned without incident.
Channel NewsAsia (CNA) reports that the statement from the police also said that it had been a 13-year-old male passenger who had made the bomb threat and that the young man was presently assisting with police investigations.
The airline also said through a spokesman that it was fully cooperating with authorities in their investigations.
The spokesman for Scoot confirmed that there had indeed been a security threat on Scoot flight TR 385, originating from Cebu, which was “later identified as a hoax”.
The flight, he said, landed safely at Changi Airport at 4:49 pm.
“All 144 passengers and six crew disembarked normally and were subjected to arrival security checks. Scoot will co-operate fully with the authorities in their investigations,” the spokesman said.
The RSAF shared the Defence Minister’s post, and wrote as a caption, “Ever vigilant. A salute to all our airmen who responded to ensure our skies and home are safe 24/7.”
Scoot flights have been in the news several times this year, for various reasons.
Late last month, Scoot Flight TR567, which departed from Tiruchirappalli in India and was on its way to Singapore in the early hours of May 20, had to make an emergency landing at Chennai International Airport after a smoke warning went off in the cargo area of the plane.
The pilot was able to land the Airbus A-320 without mishap, keeping all 165 passengers and six crew members on board safe. A spokesman for the company said that the passengers were able to disembark at Chennai normally.
In April, a Singapore-bound Scoot flight from Bengaluru, India, was delayed for almost 14 hours after authorities were notified of a security threat.
Flight TR 573 was supposed to depart from the Indian city of Bengaluru at 1:20 am (local time) on April 23, but due to a verbal security threat, the flight was rescheduled for take-off 14 hours later.
A Scoot spokesman said, “Due to a verbal security threat, a passenger had to be removed from the flight by airport security.”
“All passengers were required to undergo security screening and immigration clearance again, and no suspicious items were found. As a result of the additional security procedures, flight time limits of the operating crew were exceeded,” he added.
On March 24 of this year, the oxygen masks on Scoot flight TR 966 from Singapore to Taipei were activated midflight.
The pilot said the plane experienced abnormal cabin pressure during descent which led to the release of oxygen masks. Flight TR 996 landed at Taipei Taoyuan Airport at 1:15 pm without further incident, and all 180 passengers and crew members deplaned safely.
In January, a Scoot flight from the Gold Coast heading to Singapore was rerouted due to a brawl after take-off. An unruly and reportedly intoxicated passenger started a fist fight on a Scoot flight around 20 minutes after take-off.
The man was said to be drinking heavily after the flight was delayed from 9:20 am to 12:09 pm./ TISG