SINGAPORE ― Two Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) fighter jets were scrambled into action on Thursday (April 5) afternoon, after the pilot of a Scoot flight bound for Hat Yai declared a bomb threat on board.
The RSAF F-15SG fighter jets had to meet the Scoot flight TR634 at the South China Sea, before escorting the aircraft back to Changi Airport.
A male passenger, who had allegedly made the bomb threat, and his two other travel companions, are assisting the police with investigations. The police subsequently found no threat, after searching the plane and the belongings of the passenger, and his two companions.
In a statement, Scoot said the plane returned to Changi Airport safely after an “alleged bomb threat” and “the aircraft was escorted back to Singapore by RSAF and safely landed at 15.23hours”.
Flight TR634 was carrying 173 passengers and six crew. Data from flight tracking sites showed the aircraft to be an Airbus A320.
Screengrab from Flightradar24 of the flight route of Singapore to Hat Yai.
Responding to TODAY’s queries, Scoot added that the flight has been retimed to resume its journey to Hat Yai at 6.30pm.
“We’re working closely with the authorities for necessary follow-up to ensure the safety of our guests,” it said.
All passengers had disembarked the plane safely, the Singapore Police Force said in a Facebook post.
“The passenger who allegedly made the bomb threat, and his two other travel companions, are currently assisting the police further with investigations,” it added.
Separately, in a Facebook post at about 4.30pm, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen praised the RSAF — whose F15SG fighter jets “took off within miniutes” after the bomb threat — for their quick response.
Dr Ng said: “For our RSAF pilots who are on stand-by duties 24/7, every threat is considered real until proven otherwise. They keep us and our skies safe.”