Turkish Airlines faced a potentially dangerous situation last Saturday as a bomb threat was discovered inside the lavatory, causing the aircraft to return to the stand and being evacuated immediately.
Due to the swift action of crew and ground staff all passengers were able to get off the plane quickly and Turkish was able to provide a new aircraft for the flight to Toronto a few hours later.
After all the acts of violence and terrorism in Istanbul and especially Istanbul Airport in particular it’s understandable that both Turkish Airlines and the local authorities take these matter very serious.
A story in the Toronto Sun (see here) revealed further details of the situation.
A Turkish Airlines plane in Istanbul was evacuated Saturday after a suspicious note was discovered in one of its bathrooms.
The Turkish Airlines cabin crew found the words “BOMB TO TORONTO” on the bathroom’s wall on Flight TK-17 during its pushback from the gate, a Turkish Airlines press official told The Associated Press. The plane was leaving Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport for Toronto Pearson International Airport.
The plane returned to its parking spot and was evacuated. The airline said the plane and its passengers underwent security procedures, but the official said nothing suspicious was found. The press official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed by his company to give his name.
A new plane has been designated for the flight to Toronto.
It goes without saying that the whole procedure of organizing a new aircraft, transferring and scanning the baggage etc took several hours to complete and data shows the flight eventually left short after 9pm on Saturday which represents roughly a 6 hour delay for this flight.
Hopefully the passengers were accommodated properly at the airport. Considering this is a pretty long flight of 10:30h plus the extra 6h delay it must have been horrible, especially for those folks flying Economy Class.
Safety is important and incurring this delay on the ground is certainly a better situation compared to finding this note in flight, making an emergency landing and causing a full scale emergency including scaring the passengers (and crew) even more.
All considered the arrival was only 5h later than originally scheduled so apart from sitting through the whole ordeal was not as bad as it could have been in the worst case.