On Jan. 5, a Vietnam Airlines aircraft, which took off from Japan’s Narita airport for Hanoi International, was threatened that it would be shot down over Tokyo Bay.
Flight VN5311 took off from Narita International Airport with 47 passengers, three pilots, and 12 cabin crew members on board. At 11.10 a.m. local, around 40 minutes after the take-off, the Vietnamese carrier’s office in Tokyo received a call.
The man on the phone, who was claimed to be an American said that Flight VN5311 had better turn back to Narita or it will be shot down when passing Tokyo Bay.
When the airline’s office asked the man to repeat the message,
“I am preparing to shoot VN5311 when it flies above Tokyo Bay. It had better turn around,” the man on the phone said.
After confirming the message, The Tokyo office of Vietnam Airlines informed Vietnamese and Japanese officials immediately. The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) told the airline management to divert the aircraft to the Fukuoka Airport after asking permission from the Japanese authorities.
The aircraft landed at Fukuoka safely at 1.02 p.m. local time.
Japanese authorities visited the airport and spoke to the flight crew and passengers to evaluate the situation.
After finding no unusual signs and being convinced that it was safe to proceed, Flight VN5311 was allowed to take off from Fukuoka for Hanoi International Airport. The aircraft landed in Hanoi at 6:12 p.m. local time.
Flight VN5311 was the first scheduled flight between Vietnam and Japan after a two-year flight suspension between two countries due to the Covid-19 pandemic.