Thirteen flights out of Athens International Airport were delayed by an average of 40 minutes on Sunday morning after authorities sounded the alarm for a female passenger flying to Madrid, who tested positive in a random screening for explosives. A subsequent inspection revealed no cause for concern, the airport said.
The passenger had been cleared at a first security check before departure but a random spot check indicated that she should be checked again for explosives, an airport announcement said. In response, the airport had given orders preventing the take-off of all flights on the ground so that further security inspections might be carried out.
However, the passenger in question had boarded Aegean flight A3688 to Madrid, which had already taken off. Acting on the information of a possible security risk, Aegean ordered the flight’s pilot to land at the nearest airport – Palma de Mallorca – for further security checks of the aircraft and the passengers in accordance with the rules. This inspection showed no cause for concern and the flight then continued to Madrid.
According to sources, the police are drawing up charges against the employees of the airport security firm for failure to promptly inform police authorities after the passenger was checked, so that she was able to board the plane.