Vueling plane causes security alert on approach into Amsterdam

Initial reports of hijack confirmed as erroneous by Dutch authorities The flight, coming from Málaga, made “unusual maneuvers” on its approach The pilot had failed to establish contact with air controllers

A suspicious maneuver carried out by a plane belonging to the Spanish airline Vueling, which had departed from Málaga and was carrying 183 passengers, set off security procedures at the international airport of Amsterdam-Schiphol on Wednesday.

Flight number VY8366 entered into Dutch airspace without previously establishing radio contact. In such cases, the authorities immediately put into action security measures, whereby military aircraft – in this case two F-16s – escort the suspicious plane.

Spokespersons from Vueling were quick on Wednesday to deny initial media reports that the plane had been hijacked, putting the problem down to “poor communication between the pilot and the air experts.” The Dutch police confirmed that there had been no hijack.

The Dutch National Coordinator for Antiterrorism suggested that “a calamity” had occurred on the plane. However, a radio station in the Netherlands managed to get in touch with a passenger, who confirmed that there was no hijack. “We made a number of turns and then landed,” the passenger said. “That was when they told us that something was going on.”

According to the statement issued by Vueling, “the pilot carried out an unusual maneuver when entering Dutch airspace, but nothing happened, everything was in order, although Holland activates its security systems in such cases.”

Amsterdam-Schiphol saw another incident on Wednesday morning, after unexploded ordinance dating from World War II was discovered in the airport grounds. The operation to remove the bomb, which weighed 500 kilos, caused delays to a number of flights.

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