Indonesian Batik Air flight makes emergency landing after bomb threat; no bomb found

JAKARTA (AFP) -  A passenger plane in Indonesia was forced to make an emergency landing on Friday after air traffic control received a bomb threat, an official said, though police later confirmed it was a false alarm.  

The bomb squad started examining the Batik Air plane after it landed in South Sulawesi with 125 passengers from the eastern Indonesian city of Ambon, transport ministry spokesman J.A Barata told AFP.

An air traffic controller in Ambon had received the threat via text message as the plane headed toward its intended destination of Jakarta, he said.

The plane was then forced to make an emergency landing on Friday morning in Sultan Hasanuddin airport in Makassar, he added.  

Batik Air is part of Lion Group, which runs Indonesia’s biggest low-cost carrier Lion Air.  

In a statement, the airline confirmed one of its staff members had received a threat and they decided to land the plane for the safety of their passengers.  

“The police bomb squad has declared that there was no bomb found on the plane,” said Barata.