He has been charged with an alleged crime of public disorder and will be taken to court. The bomb hoax sparked the mobilisation of two Spanish Air Force fighter jets which had to escort the aircraft to the island and, once on the ground, the Civil Guard mounted a special operation to check, one by one, the luggage of all the passengers on the flight.
If found guilty, the Briton will have to cover the costs of the emergency operation which was mounted.
What was initially going to be a pleasant flight ended on Sunday afternoon with some very concerned and nervous passengers, who, unaware of what was happening, were surprised to see the presence of the F18s based in Zaragoza escorting the easyjet Airbus 319 and sending visual signals to the crew to follow them.
The message that triggered the alert was sent by the passenger via a social network and was detected when the aircraft was in the middle of the flight approaching the island.
Military planes usually intercept civilian aircraft when ground air traffic control lose contact with them or there is a perceived threat to the aircraft or passengers either because of a bomb warning, suspicious object or feared terrorist activity.
EasyJet flight EZY8303, which left London Gatwick airport at 1 p.m., landed safely at Minorca airport around half an hour late, just before 5 p.m., and was escorted to a security area.
There, the teenager was arrested and over a period of two hours passengers were disembarked one by one and asked to identify their luggage for checks by sniffer dogs and bomb disposal experts, the Civil Guard said.
Other flights out of Minorca were disrupted by the incident.
An Easyjet spokesman confirmed the flight was escorted by a military aircraft and there was a delayed disembarking due to precautionary security checks, but did not give details as to the cause.
“The safety and security of its passengers and crew is always easyJet’s highest priority and we would like to thank passengers for their understanding,“ he said.
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Hopefully the Spanish will throw the book at him. There is enough travel disruption due to lack of staff, traffic control problems and strikes, without juveniles on SM adding to the situation.
GOOD..and of he cant/wont pay..send him to Jail...or even BETTER ...DO BOTH...!!! as BELOW ..this could have turned into a TERRRBLE TRAGEDY....!! bloody IDIOT...!!1 GOD......MAKE HIM PAY DEARLY FOR HIS STUPIDTY...!!!
I remember seeing somewhere the operating cost per hour to operate and maintain an F-18. Can't remember the amount, but a gazillion bucks per hour is a fair guess. Fine him that much X2. Then, take him out back and remove some hide. I know, 'old school'. I can understand my dog doing something this stupid but, so far, she hasn't.
And so he should. The irresponsible buggers actions could have caused a tragedy. I am sure that many of my fellow Brits would be eternally grateful to the Spanish people if they would keep this imbecile in suitable accommodation for a few year’s until he grows up. I am sure his parents will contribute. Unfortunately if he is returned to the U.K. I fear he will be severely sentenced to probably life imprisonment suspended for eternity and set free to cause chaos all over again. When will some of these kids grow up for goodness sake.