French police is investigating a vandalism case where several aircraft of the airlines EasyJet and Vueling were smeared with graffiti in Arabic language.
It is unclear where and when the graffiti has been sprayed on the aircraft but in any way it makes one question airport security procedures as far as the tarmac area is concerned.
AFP reported briefly on the matter (access here).
French police and airport authorities said Saturday graffiti, much of it in Arabic, had been found sprayed on four aircraft belonging to British carrier Easyjet and a plane from Spanish airline Vueling at two airports.
Three of the jets had been defaced at Lyon airport in eastern France with two others sprayed at the Paris hub of Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle, police said.
A police source added authorities believed the graffiti had been painted on prior to the jets’ arrival in France, but that the issue posed questions about airport security.
Unless the planes all came from the same airport previously it’s a bit suspect how all of them could have been defaced outside France. Without knowing more one could just as well assume that they had been sprayed on during overnight parking at the French airports.
The words “Allah Akbar” were found to have been scrawled on a fuel tank hatch of one Easyjet plane at Charles de Gaulle airport on Tuesday, a day after the aircraft arrived from Budapest, an airport source said, adding it was scrubbed off before the next passengers embarked.
Easyjet serves 17 French destinations and the airline said there had been a “small number” of such cases — though not all in Arabic — over the past fortnight since the deadly Paris attacks claimed by Islamist extremists.
“EasyJet assessed this issue, each time working in full consultation with the authorities, and is entirely satisfied it is nothing more than graffiti,” the company said in a statement. …
A source close to a French probe into the incidents said the graffiti was “not linked” to the November 13 attacks, noting similar occurrences over recent months involving several other carriers.
One should maybe not read too much into the situation but I can imagine instances where this would have led to a possible cancellation of the flight or at least a very stringent security check (though, that might have very well been the case just that it wasn’t publicized).
In July 2014, a group of United Airlines flight attendants refused to work a flight out of San Francisco after a graffiti with the ‘Words Bye Bye’ drawn in the dirt of the aircraft’s tail was found. The flight attendants were subsequently fired for causing the cancellation of the flight. LoyaltyLobby wrote about the case here.
This might be a simple case of vandalism but every time an aircraft is involved and Arabic literature, language etc come up in the context of some irregularity all alarm bells go off.
Obviously post 9/11 and in the time where IS terrorists kill innocent people all over the world, people are sensitive to these things.