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Swiss warplanes escort El Al jet after bomb threat

An El Al Boeing 747 flight from New York landed at its Tel Aviv destination on Tuesday after a bomb threat led France and Switzerland to send warplanes to escort the Israeli airliner over their territory.

No emergency was declared at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion airport, where the El Al jet touched down, a Reuters TV cameraman at the scene said.

The Israel Airports Authority said the Swiss air force had scrambled F-18 aircraft to escort the plane “because of a bomb threat”. The Swiss Air Force said it had deployed an air police “hot mission” to accompany a flight.

Sky Guide, a Swiss air navigation service provider, said the bomb threat was received when the El Al aircraft was over France. It said the flight was accompanied by French fighter jets before it crossed into Swiss airspace.

An El Al spokeswoman declined to give details about what she described as an anonymous threat or comment on why the airline, considered one of the most security-conscious in the world, had not opted for an emergency landing en route to Tel Aviv.

Alluding to the question of whether the airline had deemed the threat credible, she said: “You can understand on your own if the plane (continued) on its way.”


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