Spanish fighter jet escorts plane to Menorca after bomb hoax

STORY: The 18-year-old who was traveling with five friends spent the night in jail and is pending a court hearing, said a spokesman for Spain's Civil Guard police.

Footage of the incident showed an F18 jet flying close to the distinctive orange wingtips of the commercial airline's A-319 aircraft which typically carries between 120 and 150 passengers.

The fighter jet is seen waggling its wings, a gesture known in aviation as indicating the other pilot should follow him, while worried passengers can be heard discussing what is happening, with one woman asking: "Why is it doing that, is it just showing off?"

Military planes usually intercept civilian aircraft when ground air traffic control lose contact with them or there is a perceived threat to the aircraft or passengers either because of a bomb warning, suspicious object or feared terrorist activity.

EasyJet flight EZY8303, which left London Gatwick airport at 1 p.m., landed safely at Menorca airport in the Balearic Islands around half an hour late, just before 5 p.m., and was escorted to a security area.

There, the teenager was arrested and over a period of two hours passengers were disembarked one by one and asked to identify their luggage for checks by sniffer dogs and bomb disposal experts, the Guardia Civil said.