Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
With 15 crew members and 47 passengers on board, flight VN5311/NRT-HAN took off from Narita heading for Hanoi.
But an unidentified person contacted Vietnam Airlines office in Japan and warned that the aircraft would be shot down if it didn’t turn back.
Unknown Caller Threatens Vietnam Airlines
A call came in from a man who spoke Japanese and claimed to be an American at the Vietnam Airlines office in Japan.
The unidentified caller said,
“Flight VN5311 had better come back to Narita or it will be shot down when passing Tokyo Bay,”
The Japan office alerted Vietnam Airlines’ Hanoi headquarters, which informed Japanese authorities, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), and a Ministry of Public Security agency about the call.
With authorization from Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh and Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The, CAAV instructed Vietnam Airlines to request Japanese authorities for permission to land the aircraft at Fukuoka Airport.
To assess the situation, Japanese officials visited and met with the aircraft crew and passengers.
VN5311 was allowed to depart Fukuoka for Hanoi and landed at Noi Bài International Airport after no unexpected indicators were found and was declared safe to proceed.
The CAAV has reported the incident to authorities.
After a nearly two-year break due to the Covid-19 pandemic, VN5311 was the first scheduled flight between Vietnam and Japan.
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