An EgyptAir flight heading to Moscow returned to Cairo 22 minutes after taking off after the crew discovered a threatening message written on one of the plane’s seats.
Following thorough security checks at Cairo International Airport, EgyptAir declared the plane was safe and scheduled an alternative flight to send the passengers on their way to Moscow.
The origin of the message and the culprit are unknown, the statement from the airline said.
The incident rekindled memories of a 2015 terrorist attack that brought down a Russian flight over the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board.
The attack resulted in a six-year hiatus of Russian flights to the resort cities of the Red Sea, resulting in a serious downturn in Egypt’s tourism sector, which was heavily reliant on Russian tourists visiting its beach resorts. Flights resumed only in August.
Cairo airport personnel received a distress signal from flight MS729 detailing the discovery of the message, 22 minutes after it took off, said an EgyptAir official. The flight was promptly asked to return to Cairo to ensure the safety of the passengers.
The first plane has been evacuated pending further investigations, however, preliminary checks proved that there is nothing dangerous on board.