Hungarian Gripen fighter planes were scrambled to intercept a passenger jet on Friday after it entered Hungary’s airspace unannounced, the defence ministry said.
The Boeing 737 airliner travelling from Munich to Sibiu (Nagyszeben), Romania, entered Hungarian airspace at 11.18am, maintaining its flight path, but it failed to establish contact with Hungarian civilian air traffic control. NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre then alerted the Gripen fighters of the Hungarian armed forces that were on duty which identified the plane and escorted it to the Hungarian-Romanian border. Following its interception by the Gripens, the Boeing 737 established contact with air traffic control at 11.36am, the ministry said.
According to data from Flightradar24. com, the flight was operated by Romanian state-owned carrier Tarom. Tarom confirmed that the flight was unable to establish contact with Hungarian air traffic control. The jet successfully communicated with the air traffic control of other countries, as well as with the pilot of one of the fighter planes, the Agerpres news agency said. Agerpres said Hungarian and Romanian authorities were investigating the possible causes of the incident.
photos: magyaridok.hu; kronika.ro