Sonic boom heard over Suffolk as RAF intercepts Ryanair flight after security hoax

The jets were scrambled after a security alert (stock photo)

The jets were scrambled after a security alert (stock photo)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

RAF jets were given permission to break the sound barrier this morning - to escort a Ryanair flight from Lithuania.

The jets broke the sound barrier as they raced to reach the plane as quickly as possible, after a security alert which is believed to have been a hoax.

Other civil aircraft were ordered to clear the area so the Typhoon jets could reach the plane.

The Ryanair plane was originally scheduled to land at Luton, but was instead diverted to Stansted.

A spokesman for the RAF said: “The RAF can confirm Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon aircraft were launched this morning from RAF Coningsby to intercept a civilian aircraft.

“The aircraft was safely escorted to Stansted Airport. The Typhoon aircraft were authorised to transit at supersonic speed for operational reasons.

"Typhoon pilots at RAF Coningsby and RAF Lossiemouth are on standby 24 hours a day to defend UK airspace. Stansted is a designated airport for dealing with hijacks and major security alerts. “Any inconvenience caused to local residents is regretted.”

Ryanair released its own statement on the matter, saying: “This flight from Kaunas to London Luton diverted to London Stansted in line with procedures after Lithuanian authorities received a suspected hoax security alert."