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Tue 14 Dec 2010 11:54 AM

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Emirates flight delayed after bomb hoax

EK771 flight from Cape Town to Dubai held after passenger claims to have bomb in hand luggage

Emirates flight delayed after bomb hoax
Emirates says the small engine fire was quickly extinguished. (Photo for illustrative purposes only)
Emirates flight delayed after bomb hoax
An Emirates Airline Airbus A380 jet taxis upon arriving at JFK International Airport in New York, U.S., on Friday, Aug. 1, 2008. Emirates Airline celebrated the first commercial flight to North America of the Airbus A380 from Dubai to New York. Photographer: Jeremy Bales/Bloomberg News

An Emirates airliner travelling from South Africa to Dubai was forced to return from the runway before takeoff after a passenger jokingly claimed he had a bomb on board.

The passenger, thought to be travelling on to Cairo, told cabin crew his hand luggage contained a bomb after an air stewardess quizzed him on the amount of baggage he had stowed on board.

The pilot took the decision to return the EK771 flight to its gate, where security boarded the plane and escorted the man off for questioning, a fellow passenger told Arabian Business.

“The air hostess asked him why he had brought so much hand luggage and he said; ‘It’s for all my bombs,’” said the passenger, who asked not to be named. “He was joking, but he was very loud and we were all quite uncomfortable.

“We were at the runway but the pilot made an announcement and said we’d be returning to the gate to offload someone,” he said. “The guy went pretty quietly once security boarded the plane to remove him.”

A spokesperson for Emirates Airline confirmed a disruptive passenger had been offloaded from the plane with his luggage.

The flight eventually took off from Cape Town more than an hour behind schedule and landed safely in Dubai.

It is not known how many passengers were on board; however, the Boeing 777-200 aircraft that is typically used by Emirates on the Cape Town, Dubai route can hold more than 280 people.


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Glen 9 years ago

Travelling by air is a serious matter where silly jokes and triviallities should be avoided at all cost. Consideration should always be shown to fellow passengers.

When airlines trivialise air travel with World Wide viewed promotional materials, such as playing football in an airoplane, it lowers the expectations of passenger responsibility and acceptable behaviour toward fellow passengers.

Well handled Emirates Airlines, for taking a very costly decision in the interests and safety of passengers and crew I will always choose a carrier such as you before flying on a soccer pitch.

BL 9 years ago

I was on the flight and seriously, there are just some things you don't joke about. I thought Emirates handled it really well and although we were delayed the off-loading went very smoothly.
He was fairly loud and irritating while he was sitting there but as you say, he did go pretty quietly. Think the rest of the passengers would have kicked off if he'd made a fuss. Not a clever man.