The video shows two German Eurofighter Typhoon jets intercepting Jet Airways flight after the Cologne air traffic control failed to establish contact with the Indian aircraft because of a communication failure.
The Boeing 777 was on flight 9W-118 from Mumbai to London on February 16, 2017 and was flying close to the city of Cologne in Germany when cockpit crew did not respond to the ATC communications. The German Air Force quickly scrambled jets in order to escort the Jet aircraft safely.
Aircraft interception happens when one aircraft moves up to another, most often when a military aircraft is intercepting a civilian one. The causes vary from entering national airspace without a filed flight plan, entering prohibited or restricted airspace due to misnavigation, unidentified aircraft, or communication failures. There are international standards governing such cases.
In this case, the fighter jets managed to establish contact, and relayed the information to the ATC. Once communication was properly restored, the Boeing continued on its way to London. A spokesperson for Jet Airways confirmed the incident, and the crew of the flight have been grounded.
According to a statement released by the company, “Contact between Jet Airways flight 9W 118, from Mumbai to London Heathrow, of February 16, 2017, and the local ATC, was briefly lost while flying over German airspace. Communication was safely restored within a few minutes. As a precaution, the German Air Force deployed its aircraft to ensure the safety of the flight and its guests. The flight with 330 guests and 15 crew subsequently landed at London without incident. Jet Airways has duly reported the matter to the concerned authorities including the DGCA. As part of the standard process, the flight crew of 9W 118 has been de-rostered pending investigation.”
Video footage of the scare was taken by a British Airways plane trailing behind, and passengers were able to witness the scene taking place.