Royal Air Force jets have escorted a Luton-bound Ryanair flight from Lithuania into Stansted airport this morning, following reports of a security alert.
Ryanair said the flight was diverted after Lithuanian authorities "received a suspected hoax security alert". The airline said the aircraft landed normally at Stansted and customers will be transferred to Luton by coach "when cleared to do so".
Suffolk police said that "loud bangs" heard across Suffolk this morning were due to a sonic boom produced by military aircraft.
We can now confirm that the loud bangs heard across #Suffolk this morning was a sonic boom produced by military aircraft.— Suffolk Police (@SuffolkPolice) October 4, 2017
We have received a number of calls from people hearing loud bangs this morning - At this stage it is thought to of been a sonic boom— Suffolk Police (@SuffolkPolice) October 4, 2017
The RAF said the aircraft was safely escorted into the airport after quick reaction alert Typhoon aircraft were launched from RAF Coningsby to intercept a civilian aircraft.
Luton's arrival information said the FR2145 flight from Kaunas, Lithuania which was due to arrive at 9am had been diverted to Stansted. The plane landed safely at around 8.55am and police said passengers were being brought off. The runway was closed for a short time, but has since reopened.
Essex police said they were at the scene "following reports of a security alert", and enquiries are ongoing.
Stansted Airport said the airport was "open and operating normally", after flights had briefly been held while the aircraft was diverted.