, BEIJING, Aug 29 – An Air China plane bound for New York was forced to return to Beijing on Wednesday after receiving a “threatening message”, the airline and state media said.
Air China flight 981 returned to the Beijing Capital International Airport to “guarantee passenger safety”, the airline said in a brief statement released through its official microblog after the flight landed.
The flight took off at 1pm (0500 GMT), Xinhua said, but did not say what time the plane turned back.
The airline’s schedule shows flight CA981 bound for John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport was originally due to arrive in New York at 2:20pm (1820 GMT) on Wednesday.
JFK’s website said it had “no recent information” about the flight, which used a Boeing 747-400 aircraft.
The flight was scheduled to take off again at 11:55pm (1555 GMT), the official Xinhua news agency said, quoting the airport’s operator.
In June, six members of China’s Uighur minority tried to hijack a Chinese domestic flight flying from a restive city in the far-western Xinjiang region, but crew members and passengers thwarted them, authorities said.
The Tianjin Airlines plane, bound for the Xinjiang capital of Urumqi, returned safely to the airport in Hotan city after a struggle between the hijackers, crew members and passengers.