Lufthansa delays flight from Minsk over ‘security warning’

Lufthansa delays flight from Minsk over 'security warning'
Lufthansa flights await takeoff at Munich Airport. Photo: Christof Stache/AFP
German airline Lufthansa said it delayed the departure of a flight from Minsk to Frankfurt on Monday after it received a "security warning", one day after a forced landing over Belarus.

The flight eventually took off for Frankfurt after renewed checks, with all passengers on board.

“The flight took off 10 minutes ago,” an airline spokesman told AFP at about 13.30pm GMT, one day after a forced landing over Belarus. “All passengers were on board as planned.”

The airline announced the delay on Monday morning, saying local Belarusian authorities had wanted to carry out a security check. 

“We are following the directions of the local authorities who are searching the plane again before departure and carrying out security checks again on
passengers,” an airline spokesman said.

Lufthansa said all luggage and freight had been removed from the aircraft, in which there were 51 people including five crew members.

“We regret the inconvenience for the passengers but the security of our passengers, crew and the plane take top priority at Lufthansa,” the spokesman said.

Soon after Lufthansa released its statement, Minsk airport said on its Telegram channel that “all necessary measures” to check the plane and its
passengers had been completed.

“The information about a terror attack, that was received on the airport’s email, wasn’t substantiated,” it said. “The plane is being readied for take-off, luggage is being loaded, boarding has been announced for Lufthansa flight LH1487 Minsk-Frankfurt.”

The security alert came one day after a Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius carrying dissident journalist Roman Protasevich was diverted while in
Belarusian airspace over a supposed bomb threat.

Accompanied by a Belarusian fighter jet on the orders of strongman Alexander Lukashenko, the plane landed in Minsk where Protasevich, a
26-year-old who had been living in Lithuania, was arrested along with his Russian girlfriend.


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