Greek F-16s Intercept Delta Airlines Flight Over Greece

By m01229 from USA - Delta airplane @ MSP, CC BY 2.0,

By m01229 from USA – Delta airplane @ MSP, CC BY 2.0,

Greek F-16s Intercept Delta Airlines Flight Over Greece

There are some local Greek media reports that two F-16s intercepted a Delta Airlines flight around the same area that EgyptAir Flight 804 disappeared a few days ago.

According to the Greek media reports, the flight strayed into Greek airspace and it did not properly identify itself.  The F-16s swooped in and intercepted the flight as a security precaution.

I can only roughly translate the media reports, given that I don’t know Greek and I have not seen a report in English media on this, but according to the Greek media, the Delta Airlines flight was en route from France to Kuwait when it strayed into Greek airspace over the Mediterranean.  The Civil Aviation Authority in Greece made calls to the aircraft for one hour in an attempt to reach out to it, but there was no response.  Two F-16s were sent to make contact with the aircraft and the plane was unresponsive for some time, with the pilot and co-pilot not acknowledging the jets’ calls for the aircraft to identify itself.

Greek media reports say that over Santorini the F-16s made contact and no longer continued to escort the plane.

This happened shortly after an EgyptAir flight went missing the same day.  Authorities may have scrambled the jet over a fear that the Delta Airlines flight was around the same air space where the EgyptAir flight veered off course and disappeared off the radar.

We reached out to Delta for a comment but at the time of publishing had not heard anything back.  The story is largely under reported, most likely because it ended without any incident, but it would be interesting to see why there was a delay for the co-pilot and pilot to respond from calls from the Greek Civil Aviation Authority.

NOTE: The story originally said the plane was flying from France to Kuwait.  English media is now reporting it was a charter Delta flight between Germany and Kuwait.

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14 Comments on Greek F-16s Intercept Delta Airlines Flight Over Greece

  1. the greek gov can afford and air force ?

  2. Excellent story given Delta doesn’t fly to Kuwait…let’s try vetting our stories before we write them…thanks

    • Jonathan // May 21, 2016 at 1:57 pm //

      Appreciate your concern. The story is now published in UK media and highlights that it was a charter flight between Germany and Kuwait, not a flight between France and Kuwait. As you should be well aware, Google translate can be questionable and the report was only from numerous Greek media outlets. Thanks.

  3. Why would Delta fly from France to Kuwait?

    • Jonathan // May 21, 2016 at 1:58 pm //

      We’ve clarified this and the English media source now reporting on this story out of the UK says that it was a charter flight between Germany and Kuwait.

  4. There is only one entity that regularly charters flights between Germany and Kuwait on US metal. This could have been a huge incident.

  5. Tourkosporos // May 22, 2016 at 10:01 am //

    Sources at the Greek DoD reported that the Delta pilots were unresponsive when they approached by the F16s……

    • were the on the correct comm. freqs?

      • The story, as reported here in Greece, is that the pilot neglected to switch over to the correct frequency to communicate with the Greek Civil Aviation Authority. The pilots of the F16’s communicated with the pilot (hand signals?) and he indeed communicated and identified the flight,and the fighters departed.

  6. Delta cannot fly to Kuwait .. The whole area around Dubai Kuwait and Qatar have put an end for US based airlines to fly in their zones. Besides, a charter flight from France to Kuwait! That sounds weird since the people that needed a charter flight would rather pay less by having a plane come from France (air France) instead of paying for a plane to come from the US to France then Kuwait. Think of these things ppl

    • Jonathan // May 24, 2016 at 10:47 pm //

      Interesting analysis, except Delta put out a statement, which is weird because they confirmed they fly to Kuwait. “While transiting to Greek airspace, the flight crew of Delta flight 8957, a charter operation from Hahn, Germany to Kuwait, was unable to establish radio communications with Greek air traffic control for a short period. This occurred during a hand-off between air traffic control agencies and communications were expeditiously re-established. At no point did the Boeing 767-400ER leave its planned route of flight.” Think of these things, Adam.

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