Two Paris-bound Air France flights from two cities, Los Angeles and Washington DC both in the United States were diverted Tuesday and landed safely after the airline received anonymous bomb threats, the carrier said.
Flight 65 from Los Angeles and Flight 55 from Washington were “subject to anonymous threats received after their respective takeoff,” the airline said in a statement.
AF55, an Air France flight from Washington, D.C., to Paris, was diverted to Stanfield International Airport in Halifax, Nova Scotia, according to the airline. A spokesperson for the airport said passengers had exited the plane, which had landed safely. Kelland Sundahl, a CBC journalist, said fire crews had arrived at the scene.
While AF65, another Air France plane, carrying 497 people from Los Angeles to Paris, also was grounded Tuesday night and landed safely landed in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The incidents took place just days after last week’s terror attacks in Paris that left 129 people dead and sowed fear in the French capital and beyond.
Air France said both planes landed safely and were undergoing safety checks.
Air France dispatching passengers during emergency landing
“As a precautionary measure and to conduct all necessary security checks, Air France… decided to request the landings of both aircraft,” the carrier said.
“Local authorities are carrying out complete inspections of the aircraft, the passengers and their luggage.”
Todd Palmer, an FBI special agent in Salt Lake City, said in a statement: “Several law enforcement agencies are working in concert, following established protocol, to determine the nature of the threats which caused the aircraft to divert”
Keith Rosso, an AF65 passenger from California, told AP that “everything was smooth, everything was great, everything was going swell for the first two hours of the flight. Suddenly, the flight attendants quickly came by and cleared plates, then there was an announcement that we were making an emergency landing and that the flight attendants were trained exactly for situations like this”.
Air France said authorities were also tracking the “source of the telephone calls.”
It was unclear if the same person had called in both threats.
Salt Lake City International Airport spokeswoman Bianca Shreeve added that the empty plane was parked a safe distance from the terminal.