Man arrested after fighter jets escort flight to Singapore over bomb threat

SINGAPORE (Reuters) -An Australian man was arrested by the Singapore police after a budget Scoot airline flight was escorted back to the city-state’s Changi Airport on Thursday because of a bomb threat.

The 30-year-old man was arrested for criminal intimidation and police investigations are ongoing, reported CNA.

Singapore’s air force and emergency services were activated to escort the Perth-bound Scoot flight back to Singapore, the budget airline said.

A “precautionary” decision was made to turn back the flight about an hour into the journey “due to a bomb threat”, Scoot said in an emailed statement, without providing details of the threat.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said in a Facebook post that two F-15SG fighter planes were scrambled to escort the Scoot flight back to Changi Airport.

The flight had landed in Singapore as of 6:27 p.m. local time (1027 GMT) where security checks were carried out, the low-cost arm of Singapore Airlines Group said.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said one runway was closed for about an hour “to facilitate ground operations”, with eight arriving flights and six departures experiencing some delay because of the incident.

“Scoot is assisting the authorities with their investigations. As this is a security matter, we regret that we are unable to provide further details,” a spokesperson said, according to local media.

Fighter jets were also scrambled last September to escort a Singapore Airlines flight after a passenger made a bomb threat.

(Reporting by Kanupriya Kapoor and Xinghui Kok; Editing by Alex Richardson, Sharon Singleton, Mark Heinrich and Jonathan Oatis)