Manchester Airport, the third-busiest in the United Kingdom, was temporarily closed following a bomb threat to an arriving Emirates flight. This event marks the second threat-related incident to a UK-bound flight within the last week.
Emirates EK19 is a daily service between Dubai (DXB) and Manchester (MAN) operated by the Airbus A380-800. On October 17th, the flight departed Dubai without issue for its seven-and-a-half-hour voyage to the U.K.
The aircraft involved was A6-EUX, a six-year-old A380-842 painted in a special Dubai "Journey to the Future" livery promoting Dubai's new Museum of the Future. As EK19 was nearing Manchester, local police received notice of an email claiming a suspicious package was onboard the flight.
Due to the dire situation, other flights inbound to Manchester were diverted, and departing flights were delayed as the airport was forced to close. The Emirates flight landed just after 7 p.m. local time and held at the end of the runway. Officers from Greater Manchester Police and the airport's fire services rushed to the scene.
The authorities searched the flight, with Greater Manchester Police releasing the following statement:
“Searches and security checks have been completed, and no suspicious items have so far been found. passengers have now disembarked the aircraft with extra officers on hand to answer any questions and offer visible reassurance.”
No arrests have yet been made, and the origin of the suspicious email has yet to be determined.
This event is the second serious issue involving a major threat onboard a UK-bound flight in the past week. A few days ago, a Kenya Airways flight from Nairobi to London Heathrow diverted to Stansted following a "potential security threat." No serious issues were found onboard the Kenya Airways flight.
Impact on Flight Operations
Emirates EK19 landed in Manchester right around 7:22 p.m. Following this, Manchester Airport was temporarily closed as authorities conducted their search of the A380. Due to the airport's closure, certain inbound flights were diverted to nearby airports as they understandably could not land in Manchester.
British Airways 1402 from Heathrow and EasyJet 7265 from Palma de Mallorca were diverted to Liverpool, while Jet2 938 from Paphos diverted to Leeds Bradford. No cancellations were reported that night. Any flights scheduled to depart around the time of the Emirates A380's arrival were simply delayed.
Manchester Airport remained closed for less than two hours before reopening. The Emirates A380, afflicted by the hoax bomb threat, departed back to Dubai without issue as EK20 with a nearly three-hour delay. Manchester Airport continues to operate flights without issue.
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