Key Points:

  • Manchester Airport temporarily suspended its operations due to a bomb threat directed at an incoming Emirates flight from Dubai.

  • Greater Manchester Police were notified of an email suggesting a suspicious package on the Emirates Airbus A380.

  • The situation resulted in diversions of several incoming flights and delayed the return flight to Dubai, though no arrests have been made.

Manchester Airport temporarily halts operations due to a bomb threat

MANCHESTER — On Tuesday evening, Manchester Airport, among the UK's busiest, briefly suspended its flight operations. The decision came after an alert about a potential bomb threat aimed at an Emirates flight that had originated from Dubai. The Airbus A380, commonly known as the “SuperJumbo”, touched down slightly behind schedule at 7:21 pm following an otherwise regular flight from the United Arab Emirates.

Immediate Response and Flight Diversions

The Greater Manchester Police sprung into action upon receiving an email that pointed towards a possible suspicious package on board the Emirates aircraft. In an official statement, a police spokesperson mentioned, “The aircraft had landed at Manchester airport and was held for further assessment.” As a result of thie security concern, all airfield operations were temporarily halted. The precautionary measures forced three incoming flights to be rerouted to other airports. Specifically, a British Airways flight from London Heathrow and an easyJet plane from Palma de Mallorca were redirected to Liverpool. Additionally, a Jet2 flight arriving from Paphos, Cyprus, was diverted to Leeds Bradford, which serves as Jet2's primary base.

Closure and Subsequent Investigations 

The closure of the airport's operations was relatively brief, lasting only 34 minutes. The Greater Manchester Police, after conducting thorough searches and security assessments, confirmed, “Searches and security checks have been completed, and no suspicious items have so far been found. Passengers have now disembarked the aircraft with extra officers present to address concerns and provide a visible sense of security. No arrests have been made at this stage.”

Due to the security incident, the return flight to Dubai, labeled EK20, experienced a delay of two-and-a-half hours. Consequently, some of the roughly 500 passengers on that flight were likely to miss their connecting flights at the Emirates hub in Dubai.

In an official statement, an Emirates spokesperson mentioned that the incoming flight, EK19, “was subjected to additional security checks upon arrival.” They further added, “Emirates crew and ground teams co-operated fully with the authorities. After the local authorities cleared the aircraft, it proceeded to the gate where passengers disembarked as normal.”

This incident at Manchester Airport comes on the heels of another recent security scare. Just last week, on 12 October, a Kenya Airways flight traveling from Nairobi to London Heathrow was diverted to Stansted Airport.