Fighter jets said to escort El Al plane over Greece after false bomb warning

Passengers kept unaware of threat; caller claimed to US authorities there were explosives on aircraft en route from New York to Tel Aviv

El Al plane parked at Ben Gurion Airport in Lod on August 3, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
El Al plane parked at Ben Gurion Airport in Lod on August 3, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Fighter jets were summoned to accompany an El Al plane over Greece on Friday after a bomb threat was reported mid-flight, according to a television report.

Flight LY02 departed from New York for Tel Aviv on Thursday afternoon. After takeoff, US authorities received a phone call warning there was a bomb on the plane, Channel 12 reported on Saturday.

“I’m telling you there’s a bomb on the plane,” the caller said.

Though the warning was considered dubious, the pilot, Israeli security agencies, and the countries whose airspace was on the flight path were alerted, the report said.

The plane was then accompanied by fighter jets after entering Greek airspace. The jets remained at a distance and passengers remained unaware of the incident, the report said. It did not specify whether the jets were from the Greek military or Israel’s air force.

After landing at Ben-Gurion Airport, “searches were conducted of the plane and security forces were updated on the issue. It emerged that it was a false warning,” an official told Channel 12.

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