British Airways Plane to London Intercepted by Fighter Jets Over Hungary

By Jack Phillips, Epoch Times
May 1, 2016 11:34 am Last Updated: May 1, 2016 1:34 pm

A British Airways jet was intercepted by fighter jets while flying over Hungary.

The Boeing 777 was reportedly escorted by two Hungarian Air Force fighter planes—Air Force Gripens—as they scrambled to identify the plane after it passed over the country unannounced, The Independent reported.

A passenger on board the plane captured one of the fighter jets flying next to the BA plane.

“I was just looking out and my husband said ‘look at that plane,'” Sabrina Fawaz told MailOnline.

“It’s difficult to describe the feeling. You immediately imagine something’s wrong in the plane and you’re not aware of it or something’s wrong on the ground.”

She added: “My mouth went dry and I went hot and hold. It was terrifying.”

A British Airways Airbus A380 aircraft performs its demonstration flight during the first day of the 50th Paris Air Show at Le Bourget airport, north of Paris, Monday, June 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
A British Airways Airbus A380 aircraft performs its demonstration flight during the first day of the 50th Paris Air Show at Le Bourget airport, north of Paris, Monday, June 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

“I thought it was ready to shoot us down. Usually you hear that when two fighter jets are scrambled, one is flying to the front of the plane to check that it’s okay and the second one is flying behind ready to shoot it down,” she said.

The jet apparently lost contact with air traffic controllers, leading to the interception.

The flight was en route from Dubai to Heathrow Airport in London.

Pilots have to make contact with air traffic controllers on the ground when passing from one country’s airspace to another. The BA jet, flight BA108, failed to do so and Hungarian officials issued their highest alert, leading to the interception.

The planes took off at 12:55 p.m. local time. The jets returned at 1:31 p.m.

A BA spokesman told the Independent: “Communication was quickly restored with air traffic control and the flight landed normally at Heathrow.”

According to the flight’s status on website Flight Radar, the plane landed at 2:19 p.m. at Heathrow.

Last October, a Monarch airlines plane bound for Birmingham from Madeira lost communication over French airspace, leading to fighter jets being deployed.