An Emirates plane flying to New York from Greece was forced to return to the Athens International Airport after a security alert, police sources said on Thursday. Greek authorities were tipped off by U.S. about a “suspicious” passenger on the plane, according to police sources and local media. Just after 2000 GMT the plane, escorted by two fighter jets, landed back at the Eleftherios Venizelos airport in Athens for security checks, the sources said. Police later said nothing suspicious was found after the planes and passengers were checked.
Public ERT television said the flight recall was made following a request by U.S. authorities. Greek police officials did not confirm the source of the request when asked by The Associated Press.
Officials at Athens airport said Emirates Flight 209 to Newark Airport in New Jersey returned to Athens two hours after taking off and landed safely. The plane was escorted back through Greek airspace by two Greek air force F-16s, military officials said.
The second Emirates flight, which was scheduled to fly to Dubai, was stopped in Athens before takeoff. Police said information received about a potentially suspicious passenger was not confirmed by the inspections.
Earlier on Thursday, another Emirates flight to Dubai was not allowed to take off from Eleftherios Venizelos and all passengers were thoroughly checked also for security concerns but nothing suspicious was found, police sources added.
With agencies inputs