No suspicious package found on Emirates flight: airline

30th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Fighter jets were scrambled on Friday to accompany an Emirates plane into New York after an international security alert, but Emirati authorities later said it was not carrying cargo from Yemen.

US fighter jets had earlier accompanied the plane to New York after it was determined to be "an aircraft of interest" as it flew into Canadian and then American air space, the US-Canadian military agency NORAD said.

But an official source at the United Arab Emirates' civil aviation body, quoted by the official Emirati WAM agency, said late Friday that the flight had been given the all clear.

"The Emirates plane that arrived today in the United States from Dubai did not contain any packages from Yemen," the source said.

The plane landed at John F. Kennedy airport at 3:40 pm local time (1940 GMT) and was immediately surrounded by dozens of police cars, the report said.

NORAD did not earlier identify the plane in its statement, but US media said it was Emirates Airlines flight 201 from the United Arab Emirates and was intercepted because it had cargo from Yemen on board.

"Out of an abundance of caution, the North American Aerospace Defense Command diverted two Canadian CF-18s to track a civilian aircraft that was determined to be an aircraft of interest as it flew into and over Canadian airspace," NORAD said in a statement.

"The civilian aircraft was passed to two US F-15s as it transited into US airspace and its ultimate destination at JFK airport."

© 2010 AFP

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