India’s Mumbai International Airport was put on high alert until midnight on 1 December following two threats received by the national carrier Air India within a span of 24h.
Air India’s Thane call centre received two calls during the weekend. While the first call by a woman warned of a hijack of an Air India flight using AK-47, the second caller claimed to be a ‘mafia don’, who said there were bombs in Air India flights and asked them to be landed in Pakistan.
The woman refused to identify herself and disconnected the call after saying: "Air India flight will be hijacked using AK-47," reported Mid-Day.
Following this call, an aerodrome committee was formed to judge the seriousness of the threat.
The committee comprised representatives of Air India, Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) security officials, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), local police and Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).
The call was adjudged to be ‘non-specific’ as the caller had not made a mention of the threat to any sector or particular flight, nor had she spoken of any destination.
Even the second call in which the caller claimed to be a part of the mafia was adjudged as ‘non-specific’. However, the airport was put on high alert for 48h.
DNA quoted a CISF official as saying: "Since the threat was non-specific and the call was related to Air India, all flights of the airline were thoroughly checked. But so far nothing unusual was found.
It further quoted an Air India spokesperson as saying: "We have referred the matter to the local police, who are now investigating the case."
Mid-Day also reported that this was the fourth threat that the airport had received in the last two months.
Image: The view of Mumbai Airport’s T2. Photo: courtesy of Bombaywallas.