A British Airways flight has arrived at Heathrow after being searched by anti-terror police on the tarmac of Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris following ‘a direct threat’ against jet.The Airbus A320 was due to fly to London Heathrow Airport at 8am when officials ordered its evacuation. Following a thorough security screening, the aircraft departed Paris at around 11.10am. It landed safely in London at 11.55am.Pictures on social media show passengers being evacuated from flight BA303.
According to eyewitnesses, passengers are being screened by anti-terrorist police while other officers inspect the luggage. It is claimed an individual made ‘a direct threat’ against the nine years old aircraft. The aircraft was due to take off at 8am, UK time. It eventually took off shortly after 11am. Passenger James Anderson wrote on Twitter ‘On British Airways flight BA0303, currently being held on tarmac at Paris due to security threat, surrounded by police and fire vehicles.‘Apparently an individual has made a direct threat to this aircraft. We will all be led off aircraft & baggage searched in due course.’Mr Anderson claimed ‘Everybody’s been individually searched by armed officers and given all clear. Now hold luggage being searched by dogs.’
Mr Anderson told that initially the pilot told us there were technical issues.’We were waiting on plane for around an hour.’We were then told the aircraft had to move to another part of the airport.’That’s when we noticed police and fire vehicles quickly surrounded the plane and dozens of armed officers and firefighters got out.’The pilot then said there had been a direct security threat involving our flight specifically.’He continued ‘I believe the intention is to return to the same plane assuming the search is all clear.’We were told they are also currently searching the aircraft with dogs.’ According to British Airways ‘The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our top priority.’Additional security checks are being carried out as a precaution.’We would never operate a flight unless it is safe to do so.’ Following the aircraft’s departure, British Airways added ‘Following additional security checks this morning, the flight has now taken off.’ A spokesman for Charles de Gaulle airport said the search was instigated by customs officials and was routine.France remains under a State of Emergency following a series of terrorist attacks carried out by ISIS and al-Qaeda operatives.This means that security checks are carried out regularly at transport hubs such as airports, and train stations, and often without warning.