NEW DELHI: Air India flight bound for London from Ahmedabad on Friday lost contact with the Air Traffic Control (ATC) while flying over Hungary’s airspace following which it was escorted by fighter jets.
German and Belgian fighter jets were scrambled to escort an Air India flight into Heathrow airport at London. The flight lost radio contact which sparked hijack fears.
Air India spokesperson said the plane, with 231 passengers and 18 crew members onboard lost contact with the ATC due to frequency fluctuation.
According to the spokesperson the aircraft took off from the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai at 0700 hours and landed safely at London’s Heathrow Airport at 11.05 hours.
By the time the plane entered British skies the fault was rectified and it did not require the Royal Air Force (RAF) of Britain to escort the AI plane.
A similar incident was reported on February 16 last month when Jet Airways, Mumbai- London flight had a communication failure on board while flying over the German airspace which forced German authorities to scramble fighter jets fearing a hijack. The plane was carrying 330 passengers and 15 crew members.
The plane has communication failure with ATC for a brief period while flying over Cologne, Germany. However, the communication was safely restored within minutes and the flight landed at its destination without any hitch.