Bomb threat: Kochi-London AI flight to depart on schedule, caller identified as passenger

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Cochin International Airport Limited

Kochi: Authorities at Cochin airport swiftly neutralised a bomb threat targeting an Air India flight bound for London on Tuesday morning. Investigations revealed that the caller responsible for the threat was a passenger scheduled to board the same flight. According to reports, the passenger made a hoax bomb threat as the airlines refused to provide him a ticket for another day as his child was suffering from food poisoning.  Following a thorough investigation, airport authorities have cleared the flight for departure as per its original schedule.

The bomb threat was reported to Air India's call center in Mumbai on Tuesday targeting flight AI 149, scheduled from Cochin (COK) to London Gatwick (LGW). Air India officials in Cochin and Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) were alerted about the same at 01.22 am.

In response, Cochin Airport activated its Bomb Threat Assessment Committee (BTAC) and implemented stringent security measures. Extensive security screenings were conducted by the Airport Security Group (ASG - CISF), airline security personnel, and inline baggage screening systems.

Meanwhile, investigators successfully traced and identified the caller as Suhaib (29) from Kondotty in Malappuram, who was set to travel on AI 149 with his wife and daughter. According to reports, Suhaib's daughter was suffering from food poisoning after eating food from the flight a week-and-half ago. Though he made a request for a return ticket on another date, the authorities refused to do so. He made the bomb threat following this. Suhaib was intercepted during the international departure check-in and subsequently handed over to the police for further questioning and legal proceedings.

Following BTAC recommendations, AI 149 was relocated to an isolated parking area for thorough security checks, which have since been completed. The aircraft has been cleared for departure after comprehensive security measures were enacted. Check-in for AI 149 concluded by 10.30 am, and boarding for the flight's 215 passengers is expected to begin shortly. The flight is scheduled to depart on time at 11.50 am without further delays.

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