VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Canadian fighter jets escorted a Cathay Pacific airliner coming from Hong Kong to a safe landing in Vancouver International Airport on Saturday following a bomb threat, officials said.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police said that passengers had been safely taken off the plane and that nothing of concern had been found in the baggage.
“This is incident is being taken very seriously,” Cpl. Sherrdean Turley, adding the threat regarding Flight CX838 was called in to police at about 10:45 a.m. local time (1745 GMT).
Canadian F-18 Hornet fighter jets intercepted the Airbus 8340 with 283 passengers and 14 crew members aboard and flew alongside it until it landed around 1:40 p.m. local time (4:40 p.m. Eastern time, 2040 GMT).
“As a precaution, NORAD fighters escorted the aircraft until it landed safely in Vancouver,” said North American Aerospace Defense Command’s Maj. Holly Apostoliuk.
Passengers told CTV News they were not informed of any problems during the flight.
One passenger told CTV News the fighters appeared about 80 miles (128.74 kilometers) from Vancouver.
“I was scared,” he said. “He was near to our plane, very near to our plane.”