A French student has caused travel disturbances by phoning in a faking bomb threat to an airport to stop his parents from visiting him. The plane his parents were travelling on was carrying 159 passengers and flying from Lyon to Rennes. It was forced to turn around shortly after take-off as a result of the bogus tip-off.
The 23-year-old culprit responsible for the whole fiasco has now been identified by investigators, and has been charged with: "false news compromising the safety of an aircraft in flight." If found guilty in court, the student in question will receive a €75,000 fine, and could be imprisoned for up to five years.
Commenting on the incident, an Easyjet spokesperson stated: "EasyJet can confirm that flight EZY4319 from Lyon to Rennes on 18 January returned to Lyon as a result of security related issue. The captain took the decision as a precaution only. The aircraft landed safely and was met by the fire brigade and the police in line with procedures. Passengers disembarked normally and were provided with information and refreshments. The safety and wellbeing of our passengers and crew is easyJet’s highest priority."
This isn't the first time that strange circumstances have caused travel chaos for European fliers. Back in December, London Gatwick airport was forced to cancel hundreds of flights following reports of a drone sighted close to the runway. Approximately 140,000 passengers and over 1,000 flights were affected by the incident, causing the biggest travel disruption at Gatwick since ash from an Icelandic volcano shut the airport in 2010. British police eventually arrested a drone enthusiast and his partner who lived near the airport, but they were released without charge and cleared of any involvement.