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FR4978 ATH-VNO diverted, escorted to Minsk, alleged bomb threat – but was it?

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FR4978 ATH-VNO diverted, escorted to Minsk, alleged bomb threat – but was it?

Old 24th May 2021, 16:15
  #81 (permalink)  
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A Lufthansa flight from Minsk got searched before takeoff today by authorities who claimed there might be some security threat. This looks like escalating.
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Old 24th May 2021, 16:22
  #82 (permalink)  
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Scandinavian airline SAS said they would stop using Belarusian air space, and Cyprus-registered Avia Solutions said its Lithuania-based airlines would follow suit.

Lithuania’s transport minister, Marius Skuodis, said Poland’s LOT and Hungarian airline Wizzair would also not use Belarusian air space and said all flights to and from Lithuanian airports must from midnight GMT avoid Belarusian air space.
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Old 24th May 2021, 16:49
  #83 (permalink)  
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here you go

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Old 24th May 2021, 16:50
  #84 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by BristolScout View Post
Michael O'Leary is uncharacteristically quiet.
Political courage does not go well with business.
Or perhaps he, unlike many on here, waited until he had more facts before speaking out. Having had time to get the story from the crew(s), he has now described this as "state sponsored hijacking"
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Old 24th May 2021, 16:55
  #85 (permalink)  
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Don’t you bother to provide a proof of what you just said about this guy being a criminal? I bet you will only find something similar to Mandela or Navalny case. Sure, they are criminals in the views of their criminal regimes.
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Old 24th May 2021, 16:58
  #86 (permalink)  
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Why nobody here is trying to compare this to a more or less similar incident:
Because it’s not similar - civil vs diplomatic flight operating under different rules….

The Ryanair flight was a civilian flight operating under the Warsaw Convention and was, it appears, hijacked (Russian and Belarusian agents on board and ATC saying there was a bomb threat), the flight was then intercepted diverted under military escort and forced to land in Belarus.

The agents on board who made the threats were not arrested and did not reboard aircraft. A passenger forcibly removed.

The Bolivian flight, in 2013, was a diplomatic flight operating under diplomatic rules requiring prior permission to enter the airspace of another country (RAF aircraft flying to Cyprus have to have prior permission from the French etc, otherwise they are turned back).

The flight in question was refused permission to enter French or Portuguese airspace. Th3 crew requested permission to land at Vienna in order to take on extra fuel in order to have enough to reroute. Permission was granted and th3 aircraft was inspected by customs and immigration when it landed. It was never intercepted and no one was removed from the aircraft.

No international laws or diplomatic treaties were broken.
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Old 24th May 2021, 17:57
  #87 (permalink)  
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Surely the simple answer is for the EU to simply put Belarus on the banned list, ie ban all EW reg aircraft from EU airspace and ban all flights between EU and Belarus. Stop all overflights (inconvenient but will drive the message home). Hopefully ICAO would follow suit.
Is that not the appropriate measure to take against state-organised hijack?
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Old 24th May 2021, 18:05
  #88 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Frequent_Flyer View Post
he is known as a high-profile criminal in his home country and is on a wanted list for specific criminal conduct.
Maybe you want to enlighten us what crimes he has committed that warranted the Belarus dictator government lead by Lukashenko to hijack an Airliner.

I mean look at Navalny, one of his crimes was that he was not returning to a court case because he had been poisoned by the FSB, and was hospitalized in an induced coma in Germany.

I guess some people's definition of criminal has a pretty low threshold.

Keep up the work defending the indefensible, as this what Putin and Lukashenko wants and needs.
I have many many Russian friends, I have even worked with Russian companies outside Russia, and Russian people are great and fun people, I have had many Vodka parties in the past, and you can't imagine how much they hate their own political leadership and corrupt government.

But if you speak up, it either ends with Novichok or in a camp in Siberia. Putin calls this "freedom of choice" Lukashenko is just another little dirty dog that follows Putin's orders.

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Old 24th May 2021, 18:21
  #89 (permalink)  
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If any capatain set off in that direction without enough fuel to entirely avoid Belarus today, then I'm afraid that was a rather foolish move. LHR-ISB on a 777-200er surely has enough room to stick on an hour or more extra fuel? Therefore I imagine there is probably something more to this than a simple numbers game.
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Old 24th May 2021, 18:30
  #90 (permalink)  
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LOT678 (SVO-WAW), now, straight through Belarus' airspace (FR24). So Poland is still on debate-mode?
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Old 24th May 2021, 18:36
  #91 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by BristolScout View Post
Michael O'Leary is uncharacteristically quiet.
Evidently you missed this: Ryanair's Michael O'Leary: Forced landing in Belarus was 'state-sponsored hijacking' | Newstalk
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Old 24th May 2021, 18:38
  #92 (permalink)  
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I'd imagine if they WEREN'T intercepted, Ryanair, EASA etc would deny the rumours rather than just say nothing. It would be something they'd want to come out and make very clear.

Ryanair doesn't want to promote the idea that planes can be escorted by armed sueprsonic intercepters. It hardly will do anything to promote confidence from their clientele.
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Old 24th May 2021, 18:57
  #93 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by 2unlimited View Post
Are we really to believe that if a MIG intercepted a flight with over 170 passengers, and there would not have been a photo or video of the intercepting fighter jet?

Here is a video showing an example of an interception.
Having been on both sides of this "game" I'd offer the opinion that it certainly used to be possible to intercept an airliner and not make yourself visible to those on board....That video is one example of how it might be done, without embellishing things too much I'll just say other techniques/tactics certainly used to be available.

Personally I think as you say in the case of the FR intercept there are obviously still doubts about whether the MIG existed or not but the fundamental point I'd make is that you'd have to be darned brave to assume that just because you hadn't seen a fighter ATC was telling you about that it didn't exist and there wasn't a threat.

Last edited by wiggy; 24th May 2021 at 19:09.
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Old 24th May 2021, 19:06
  #94 (permalink)  
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Given how close this seemed to happen close to the Lithuanian border, wouldn't they have had some primary radar recordings that would help clear things up? I appreceiate that once it's up close they'll probably only display as one reflection anyway.
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Old 24th May 2021, 19:07
  #95 (permalink)  
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There is a first hand evidence available to prove whether there was an intercept or not. Lithuanian and Polish radar stations are surveying Belarus airspace for obvious reasons and those radars are wired (together with number of other countries) into NATO CAOC in Uedem, Germany. Just a pity those who've seen the screens cannot post it on twitter
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Old 24th May 2021, 19:30
  #96 (permalink)  
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The BBC coverage referred to in previous post includes an interview with a passenger who states she saw the "fighter", initially from a distance and subsequently at close range.
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Old 24th May 2021, 20:18
  #97 (permalink)  
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ATC ordering you to divert to a rogue state, lead by a crazy dictator, risking your crew and passengers ending up as hostages, or trying to make another 3 minutes straight ahead to get out of Belarussian airspace. Either way the crew were faced with a difficult choice, and we need more details to know what choices they had in reality.

Nobody is doubting there was a MIG close at one stage, but was it an intercept or was it an escort after the RYR started it's diversion to Minsk.

Those NATO radar images would have been mighty helpful to know these details.
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Old 24th May 2021, 20:19
  #98 (permalink)  
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The European Council today threatened further sanctions and called for bans of overflight between EU members and Belarus.

Barend Leyts (@BarendLeyts) / Twitter
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Old 24th May 2021, 20:58
  #99 (permalink)  
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UPS 2 from Cologne to HKG has just turned right to overfly Belarus?
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Old 24th May 2021, 21:42
  #100 (permalink)  
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Have you seen the altitude profile of the flight? It seems the crew wanted to get to Lithuanian airspace as quickly as possible as they did not initiate their descent into VNO as usual.
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