A Boeing 777 British Airways flight was intercepted by Hungarian fighter jets after the passenger plane failed to establish contact with air traffic controllers in Hungary. The flight reportedly lost contact with air traffic controllers as it crossed the Hungarian border, leaving authorities in the country clueless about its presence over their airspace.
The Hungarian defence ministry reportedly issued their highest alert after detecting an unidentified airplane flying over their airspace. The authorities then sent two Hungarian Air Force Gripen to identify the aircraft and to ensure its safe passage from their airspace, The Telegraph reported.
Air safety protocols require pilots to make contact with air traffic controllers on the ground when passing from one country's airspace to another.
The two Hungarian fighter jets reportedly escorted the Heathrow-bound BA108 flight from Dubai for a while as the pilot re-established contact with air traffic controllers.
"Communication was quickly restored with air traffic control and the flight landed normally at Heathrow," a BA spokesman was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
In a similar incident in October 2015, passengers on board a Monarch airlines flight en route to Birmingham from Madeira spotted fighter jets flying alongside their flight. The plane had reportedly lost contact with French airspace and was being escorted by French fighter jets.
Similar incidents have happened in the recent past where passenger planes have triggered high-level security alerts after failing to communicate with air traffic controllers on the ground.