Glasgow & West Scotland

Military jets scrambled to 'unresponsive' plane

prestwick airport
Image caption The plane landed safely at Prestwick Airport at 15:57

A passenger plane has landed under military escort at Prestwick Airport in Ayrshire after it lost contact with air traffic control.

The Royal Air Force said Typhoon jets were scrambled from RAF Coningsby and RAF Lossiemouth to identify an unresponsive civilian aircraft.

Once communication was re-established, the plane was escorted to Prestwick.

The plane, an Airbus A320 operated by Volaris, had seven crew members on board but no passengers.

Sonic booms were reported to have been heard across northern Scotland as the fighter jets went at supersonic speed.

The RAF confirmed that the Typhoons were cleared to operate at supersonic speed.

The passenger plane was travelling from Toulouse in France to Iceland when it was intercepted.

Police said the plane was diverted at 14:40 and landed safely at the airport at 15:57.

Volaris is a Mexican operator. It is believed the plane was a new aircraft on its way from the French manufacturing base to its new owner.

Image copyright Flight Radar 24/Nik's News
Image caption A radar of the flight path of the plane shows it turning around over the north of Scotland

Roads around the airport closed shortly after 15:00 but have now reopened.

Flights from Glasgow Airport were delayed during the incident.

A spokeswoman for Glasgow Prestwick Airport said: "We can confirm that an aircraft has been diverted to Glasgow Prestwick Airport following a temporary loss of communications.

"Some roads surrounding the airport have been closed as a precautionary measure. This is an ongoing Police Scotland incident."

An RAF spokesman said: "Quick reaction alert Typhoon aircraft were launched today from RAF Coningsby and RAF Lossiemouth to identify an unresponsive civilian aircraft.

"The Typhoon aircraft were authorised to transit at supersonic speed for operational reasons; any inconvenience caused to local residents is regretted.

"Communications were re-established and the aircraft has been safely escorted by the Lossiemouth aircraft to Prestwick airport."

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Media captionThere were seven crew and no passengers onboard the Volaris flight
Image caption The aircraft put down after being escorted to the Ayrshire airport
Image caption RAF fighters continued to circle the airport as the Airbus landed
Image copyright Supplied
Image caption Typhoon jets were scrambled to escort the Airbus A320
Image copyright Supplied
Image copyright Supplied