There is growing concern over the rise of bomb threats in flights, which significantly disrupts airline operations and passenger schedules. Although these threats have consistently turned out to be hoaxes, the ramifications for airlines, passengers, and other stakeholders are considerable. This year, the months of May and June saw a sharp increase in bomb threats at airports and aircrafts. 

A bomb threat triggers a complex chain of events that results in disruption of the entire airline’s operation. When a threat is detected, the flight crew immediately informs the pilot, who then notifies the air traffic controller (ATC).

What does ATC do in case of bomb threat?

When the ATC receives a bomb threat, they promptly inform the airport authorities, who then mobilize various resources, including security officials, bomb disposal squads, sniffer dogs, and, in some cases, emergency evacuation systems. The affected plane is directed to an isolation bay where all passengers and their luggage undergo thorough screening. This process, which takes at least three hours, not only inconveniences passengers and crew but also causes significant anxiety.

How does bomb threat affect flight schedules?

While the safety of passengers and the trauma they endure is a major concern, a bomb threat causing a delay in one flight can also have a cascading effect on other flights. For instance, if an aircraft is scheduled to operate on six sectors in a day, a delay caused by a bomb threat on the first flight will result in delays for the subsequent five flights. With each flight carrying around 200 passengers, the impact extends to approximately 1,200 passengers.

How do bomb threat delays impact airline’s finances?

These delays and disruptions impose substantial financial costs on airlines. They may need to provide refunds and refreshments to passengers who opt not to fly, compensate those who miss connecting flights, reschedule flights, and offer hotel accommodations for passengers flying the next day. These necessary measures result in significant financial losses for the airline.

Some recent incidents of flight bomb threats

2nd June: A handwritten note threatening a bomb was found on an airsickness bag on Vistara’s Paris-Mumbai flight.

1st June: A female caller reported to Delhi Airport that her husband was carrying a bomb on Indigo’s Varanasi-Delhi flight.

28th May: A tissue paper with the message “bomb@5:30” was discovered in the lavatory of Indigo’s Delhi-Varanasi flight.

15th May: Another tissue paper with the word “bomb” was found in the lavatory of an Air India Express Delhi-Vadodara flight.

It may be noted that all these incidents were confirmed as hoaxes, but they still caused widespread distress and operational disruption.

2024-06-15T10:40:00Z dg43tfdfdgfd