An 18-year-old woman was arrested by police in Bergen on Wednesday in connection with a bomb threat against a flight from airline Widerøe at Bergen’s Flesland Airport. The threat resulted in a full evacuation of the airport Tuesday night.
Airport officials initially described the threat merely as a “security situation,” without specifying that it involved a specific Widerøe flight. The “situation” meant that “we had to evacuate the terminal,” airport chief Aslak Sverdrup told newspaper Bergens Tidende.
It caused major disruption at the airport and for incoming flights. State broadcaster NRK reported that all the terminals and the tower at Flesland were evacuated and all flight activity on the tarmac was halted as well. The evacuees and drivers of taxis parked just outside the terminal were sent to a nearby airport hotel until the “situation” was clarified.
Several incoming flights had to circle the airport and five were forced to land at other airports, including a British Airways flight from London that needed refueling. It was redirected to Stavanger.
Widerøe spokesman Richard Kongsteien later confirmed that a threat had been made against one of its flights “on a chat page the company has. We alerted the captain first, and then the police.” The threat claimed there was “a bomb in a suitcase on (Widerøe’s) 7pm flight to Kristiansund.”
The airport reopened at around 9:30pm after police had conducted a search and concluded there was no bomb. Police have since arrested the young woman who reportedly has been involved in similar situations earlier.
Turbulence at Widerøe
It was the latest turbulence to hit Widerøe, which flies mostly domestic routes in Norway and serves many small airports around the country. It’s currently owned by the investor group Torghatten, the Fjord1 transport firm and Nordland County after Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) reduced its stake in Widerøe.
Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) has reported recently that the airline is running behind with a cost-cutting program and its chief executive, Lars Kobberstad, abruptly left the airline earlier this month. The airline’s pilots and other employee groups have also been arguing over the need for pay cuts, and their willingness to take them.