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July 13, 2024 8:54 am

London-bound Air India flight at Cochin airport receives bomb threat; passenger held

Kochi (Kerala) June 25

An Air India London-bound flight received a bomb threat in the early hours of Tuesday, causing alarm at Cochin International Airport.

The Air India call centre in Mumbai received the threat in the early hours of Tuesday for flight AI-149, scheduled to fly from Cochin (COK) to London Gatwick (LGW).

According to officials, the alert was promptly communicated to Air India in Cochin and Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) at 01:22 hours. Following established protocols, a Bomb Threat Assessment Committee (BTAC) was convened at CIAL. The threat was assessed and declared specific.

This prompted a thorough security check by the Airport Security Group (ASG-CISF), airline security personnel, and inline baggage screening systems, with officials trying to identify the caller who reported the threat to the Mumbai call centre.

Investigations revealed that the call was made by Suhaib (29), a native of Kondotty Malappuram, who was scheduled to travel to London on AI-149.

Suhaib, along with his wife and daughter, was intercepted by ASG at Cochin Airport’s international departure terminal during check-in, and was later handed over to the police for further questioning and action, said officials.

Following recommendations from the Cochin Airport BTAC, the aircraft was moved to an isolated parking point, and comprehensive security measures were undertaken.

The aircraft was thoroughly checked and subsequently cleared for flight. The check-in process for AI-149 was completed by 10:30 am. The boarding procedure for 215 passengers was to start soon and the flight was expected to depart at 11:50 am.

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