Aviation

Amsterdam airport security alert a false alarm, after crew member accidentally sets off hijack warning

A crew member on board a Madrid flight accidentally triggered a kidnapping warning, causing a mass evacuation of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

The operator of the flight, Air Europa, has apologised in a Tweet for an accident that saw a mass security operation at Schiphol in Amsterdam after a crew member set off a hostage-taking alert.

“Nothing has happened, all passengers are perfectly waiting to fly soon. We [are] sorry,” the airline tweeted.

Dutch public broadcaster Nos News reported emergency services, including a police special operations team and large numbers of ambulances, had arrived en masse as a result of the false alarm due to what was then perceived as a “suspicious situation”, which saw the airport go into lockdown.

Military police tweeted “we are currently investigating a suspicious situation on board an aircraft [at] #schiphol”, at the time, adding more information would follow.

The aircraft was reportedly Air Europa flight UX 1094 to Madrid, which was due to depart gate D3 at around 7:00pm (local time), The Guardian reported.

Prime minister Mark Rutte told a meeting of his VVD party he may be called away because of the developing situation at Schiphol, as reported by The Guardian.

“Something is going on, we are going to find out what is going on,” Rutte said. “I am being kept informed. I hope it ends well.”

Nos News added the plenary session in the Dutch Lower House was also reportedly aborted because the Minister of Justice and Security, Ferdinand Grapperhaus, was also working on the situation at Schiphol.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol advised on Thursday that terminals are now back to normal and operating as usual.

Earlier this week, International Airlines Group (IAG) revealed it has reached an agreement to acquire Air Europa for €1 billion ($1.6 billion).

The deal will see yet another Spanish carrier join IAG’s repertoire, in a move to turn the Madrid hub into a rival for Europe’s biggest airports, including Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

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