MIAMI – An emailed bomb threat mandated a two-hour delay this morning on a Lufthansa (LH) flight from Minsk (MSQ)to Frankfurt (FRA).
Aerotime Hub and Reuters report that an Airbus A319, registered as D-AIBD, was about to operate flight LH1487 from Minsk, Belarus, to Frankfurt, Germany. Authorities at MSQ received an email from an unidentified sender who said they intended to commit terrorist acts on the flight.
The airline announced the delay on Monday morning, saying local Belarusian authorities wanted to carry out a security check. “We are following the directions of the local authorities who are searching the plane again before departure and carrying out security checks again on passengers,” an airline spokesman said.
Thelocal.de reports that Lufthansa removed all luggage and freight from the aircraft, on which there were 51 people including five crew members. “We regret the inconvenience for the passengers, but the security of our passengers, crew and the plane take top priority at Lufthansa,” the LH spokesman said.
Minsk airport said on its Telegram channel that it had completed “all necessary measures” to check the plane and its passengers.
“The information about a terror attack, received on the airport’s email, wasn’t substantiated,” it said. “The plane is being readied for take-off, luggage is being loaded, boarding has been announced for Lufthansa flight LH1487 Minsk-Frankfurt.”
After a two-hour delay, the plane departed without incident.
Previous Incident at MSQ
This event comes only one day after an armed Belarusian MiG-29 fighter jet intercepted a Ryanair (FR) Boeing 737, flight FR4978, flying from Athens (ATH), Greece, to Vilnius (VNO), Lithuania. When the plane landed at Minsk, the KGB, the Belarusian security service, arrested a passenger identified as Roman Protasevich, a journalist and prominent activist.
That incident has caused international outrage from Western countries and propted a demand for sanctions against the Belarusian regime. In response to the event, several airlines preemptively began diverting flights to avoid Belarusian airspace.
Featured image: Lufthansa D-AILU Airbus A319 (Lu Livery). Photo: Fabrizio Spicuglia/Airways