LONDON — A Royal Air Force fighter jet was seen escorting a Ryanair plane into Stansted Airport, north of London, on Wednesday, and the police said a flight from Lithuania had been diverted because of a security alert.
The police said the plane landed safely at around 8:55 a.m. and that passengers had been escorted off the flight.
Stansted Airport said in a statement that the flight, which originated in Kaunas, Lithuania, had landed safely, where it was met by police officers. Flight operations had been briefly halted, the airport said, but flights were subsequently “arriving and departing as normal.”
As photographs and videos of the fighter jet circulated on social media, passengers said on Twitter that flights at the airport had been grounded and were idling on the runways.
It was not immediately clear why the plane had been escorted to the airport. Loud noises were reported by people in the area, but the police said that the sounds had been produced by a military aircraft.
“We can now confirm that the loud bangs heard across Suffolk this morning was a sonic boom produced by military aircraft,” the police wrote on Twitter. The police said that several people had called to ask what was causing the loud noise.
Since the 1970s, Stansted Airport has been the designated facility for receiving flights after security alerts, according to a police press officer.