Bomb hoax aboard Cathay HK/Vancouver flight
Canadian fighter jets were scrambled Saturday when a bomb threat was reported aboard a Cathay Pacific aircraft en route from Hong Kong to Vancouver.
The airline said the threat was only a hoax, after the plane, an Airbus A340, landed safely and was thoroughly searched in a remote part of the Canadian airport. The plane was cleared for the return flight to Hong Kong Sunday morning, though four hours later than scheduled.
'Cathay Pacific has been in close communication with the airport authorities in Hong Kong and Vancouver, Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department and the Police on the incident,' the airline said in a statement. 'The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are conducting an investigation into the bomb hoax and at this stage it is inappropriate for us to comment any further.
'Cathay Pacific would like to express our sincere appreciation to Canada’s Department of Defense, the RCMP, and all the personnel at Vancouver International Airport for their help and support in handling the case. It is due in no small measure to their professionalism and rapid response that everyone on the board the flight felt safe and undisturbed by the bomb hoax.'
Canadian news outlets reported the threat was called in from a payphone in Vancouver. Reports indicated passengers aboard the plane noticed the scrambled fighters, which escorted the flight to a safe landing, but were not informed of the bomb threat.
Hong Kong is a major global air cargo hub, handling more air freight that any other airport in Asia.