EasyJet flight to Menorca intercepted by fighter jet over security fears
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Passengers on an easyJet flight from Gatwick to Menorca were left stunned after their flight was intercepted by Spanish fighter jets following "security concerns".
The dramatic clip, which has been viewed over 51,000 times on Twitter, shows the F18 warplane flying close alongside the Airbus A319, near the distinctly orange liveried wing.
The military aircraft, which is said to be the same model of plane Tom Cruise flies in the movie Top Gun, was given a "follow me" signal by the pilot of the passenger plane as the video shows the wings tipping.
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Posting the clip to Twitter, Ian Leslie wrote: "G-EZAO intercepted by Spanish Air Force on way to Menorca. Passengers not being allowed to leave yet."
EZY8303 was then escorted as the plane touched down on the Spanish island of Menorca, 30 minutes later than scheduled before the plane was healed on the ground for four hours as "precautionary security checks" were being carried out.
Confirming the incident in a statement, a spokesperson for easyJet said: "easyJet can confirm flight EZY8303 from London Gatwick to Menorca was escorted by military aircraft while landing in Menorca and delayed disembarking due to precautionary security checks.
"The passengers have since disembarked.
"The safety and security of its passengers and crew is always easyJet's highest priority and we would like to thank passengers for their understanding."
Numerous people have commented on the Twitter video, with one offering up their theory of why the plane was intercepted.
They said: "It was a security procedure because of a false bomb alarm on board that had been published in social media, allegedly by some young occupants themselves, just for 'fun'."
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However, this claim has not been acknowledged by officials.
Fighter jets follow strict guidelines when they intercept civilian planes – with the rules saying two jets must approach the aircraft, one alongside the plane and another at the rear.
The pilots make visual contact and rock their wings to acknowledge the intercept, according to The Sun.
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