Plane headed for Mumbai is escorted back by F-16s

AMSTERDAM: On Wednesday, a Northwest Airlines flight traveling from Amsterdam to Mumbai made a quick turn around just after takeoff and returned to Schiphol airport with fighter jet escort. The airline claimed in a statement that some passengers on Northwest Flight 42 raised the suspicion of the crew by acting in a suspicious manner. Twenty minutes into the trip, the pilot asked for permission to return to Amsterdam and requested a military escort while the aircraft was over Germany. Two F-16 fighter fighters from the Royal Netherlands Air Force were ordered to intercept the aircraft. According to the Dutch defense ministry and airport authorities, the pilot radioed for approval to return and requested a jet fighter escort. According to the crew, several of them “behaved in a suspicious manner,” according to a statement from the defence ministry. The customs police have removed a number of passengers from the aircraft for questioning, according to the BBC, citing a Dutch news agency. The BBC also reported that 12 of the 149 passengers on board were detained by Dutch police. A passenger who spoke to the BBC claimed that as soon as the plane touched down in Amsterdam, a few people were handcuffed and hauled away by the police. The airplane was announced as being turned around for security purposes and returned to Schipol, the passenger stated. Another traveler claimed that a “few people of South Asian origin refused to pay attention to the flight attendants” was the cause of the issue. Northwest stated it would resume operating Flight 42 on Thursday but cancelled it for the day. The flight’s passengers are being accommodated at hotels in Amsterdam. Regular security measures were quickly implemented. After passing the German border, the aircraft turned around with 149 people on board. The standard seating capacity of a Northwest DC 10 is 273. A spokeswoman stated the Dutch national terrorist coordinator’s office was informed but declined to upgrade the country’s threat level. Light threat, she claimed, “is the same as it was before.”

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