US plane recalled over security

08 Aug 2006

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LONDON, Aug 7: A Boston-bound American Airlines jet with 240 passengers and 13 crew aboard returned to London’s Heathrow airport on Monday over a security issue, but there was no threat to the aircraft, the company said.

An airline spokeswoman did not give details, but a US Department of Homeland Security official said a male passenger on the flight had matched a name on a US ‘no-fly’ list.

“Flight AA109 ... is returning to Heathrow airport due to a potential security issue that needs to be resolved in London,” the airline said in a statement. “There is no threat to the aircraft.”

An American Airlines spokeswoman later told Reuters in London that the incident was now closed.

“It is over. We have taken the decision to cancel the flight and we are rebooking our passengers on alternative flights to Boston to depart tomorrow morning,” she said.

A spokesman for London’s Metropolitan Police said four people were ‘being spoken to’ by port and border control officers.

The US Homeland Security official said the man’s name was run through the watchlist after the plane took off at 0955 GMT.

“The information was run through the national Targeting Center and this person was on the no-fly list. (American Airlines) just decided it was easiest to go back to Heathrow,” the official said.—Reuters