Easyjet plane is surrounded by armed cops at Majorca airport after pilot accidentally activates hijack alert

  • 20 officers were deployed as emergency response to flight from Birmingham¬†

A holiday plane from the UK was surrounded by armed police at a Spanish airport – after the pilot reportedly activated a hijack alert by mistake.

Around 20 Civil Guard and National Police officers were deployed this afternoon in an emergency response as the easyJet plane from Birmingham prepared to touch down shortly before 1pm local time at Majorca’s Palma Airport.

Some of the cops are said to have pointed their guns at the aircraft after it landed while others approached the plane and spoke to the pilot from a ‘safe distance’ through an open cockpit window.

The police were stood down after it emerged human error was to blame, although a search of the aircraft took place as a precaution before passengers on board were allowed to disembark.

The easyJet plane had previously been diverted from the landing area after the 1pm alarm was sounded moments before it arrived in Majorca.

Around 20 Civil Guard and National Police officers were deployed this afternoon in an emergency response as the easyJet plane from Birmingham prepared to touch down at Majorca’s Palma Airport (file image)

The police were stood down after it emerged human error was to blame, although a search of the aircraft took place as a precaution before passengers on board were allowed to disembark at Palma Airport (file image)

The police were stood down after it emerged human error was to blame, although a search of the aircraft took place as a precaution before passengers on board were allowed to disembark at Palma Airport (file image)

It was not immediately clear this afternoon how the false hijack alert was activated, although pilots are understood to be able to ‘silently’ inform air traffic control of an on-board incident of this kind by transmitting a four-digit ‘unlawful interference’ code.

That in turn leads to the mobilisation of security forces as part of an emergency response protocol.

A spokesperson for easyJet said: ‘easyJet can confirm that flight EJU7254 from Birmingham to Palma on 26 October was met by emergency services on arrival at Palma as a precaution only.¬†

‘The safety and security of its passengers and crew is always easyJet’s highest priority.’