The Iranian carrier Mahan Air’s flight from Tehran to Guangzhou arrived safely and on schedule, according to Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency on Monday, following a report of a bomb scare onboard.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) claimed it had scrambled fighter planes after receiving reports of a bomb scare aboard an Iranian-registered airplane flying through Indian airspace.
The air force claimed it eventually got instructions from Iran’s capital, Tehran, to dismiss the bomb alarm and continue the flight’s route.
“Our Airbus 340 passenger jet was flying from Tehran to Guangzhou, China, and as soon as the captain became aware of the danger of an in-flight bomb, he notified the appropriate authorities. The Mahan operation control center determined that the threat was manufactured, and the aircraft continued without incident “Mahan Air issued a statement.
“It appears that claims of a bomb on the plane during current international and local conditions were intended to disturb security and peace of mind,” the statement continued.
Following the murder in police custody of a young lady imprisoned for not adhering to the Islamic Republic’s rigorous dress code, Iran has witnessed national anti-government rallies over the previous three weeks.
The Indian planes kept a safe distance behind the Iranian airliner, and the pilot was given the option of landing at two locations in northwestern India.
“However,” the IAF stated in a statement, “the pilot indicated his refusal to divert to any of the two airports.”
Data from FlightRadar24 showed Mahan Air flight W581 from Tehran to Guangzhou flying in circles a handful of times above northern India, west of New Delhi, before continuing across the country and into Myanmar.
An Indian Air Force spokesman did not confirm the number of the flight for which fighter jets were scrambled.