Dubai: A Virgin Atlantic flight travelling from Dubai to Heathrow was delayed for three hours after a hoax security threat on Tuesday.
The incident happened on flight VS401 that was supposed to take off at 11am from Dubai International Airport.
All passengers were deplaned and then taken for additional security checks before being allowed to depart.
Some passengers got themselves offloaded after the security procedure in Dubai which followed a deadly terror attack in Manchester late on Monday, killing 22 people and injuring 50, sources told Gulf News.
They said 26 passengers voluntarily chose not to fly. This could not be confirmed from the airline.
“This is purely as a precautionary measure as the safety of our customers and crew is our number one priority and we’re planning to have everyone on their way as quickly as possible,” said the airline.
One of the passengers told Gulf News that the he overheard that a bomb threat was found in the headphone packet received by one passenger.
"It seems it was written in a pouch given along with the headphone for passengers to put donations for charity," said the passenger who did not wish to be named.
He said all the passengers had to go through security checks after they were offloaded.
Eye-witnesses also said that dog squads and bomb squads were also called in for a thorough check.
It is not known from where the bomb threat notice was inserted. Gulf News learnt that the headphones are packed from London.
Passengers also took to Twitter to confirm that the plane was deemed safe by authorities, and had been given the green light to reboard flight VS401.
#VS401 searches found nothing and should be ready to re-board shortly. Wonder what the hasmat guys were for?— Mark W (@markiwerner) May 23, 2017
Dubai Airports also confirmed that the departure of a Virgin Atlantic aircraft was delayed whilst additional security checks were carried out.
“These were carried out in close cooperation with Dubai Police and the airline, following which the aircraft was cleared for departure,” it said.
UPDATE: Virgin Atlantic Flight VS401 from #Dubai to London departed from Dubai International Airport— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) May 23, 2017