Airline vigilance is especially keen in Europe after Arabic graffiti was found daubed on the fuel tanks of four easyJet planes. Even more mysterious, the planes were parked at airports “which cannot be named for security reasons”, according to British media.
Airline security expert Philip Baum told Britain’s Daily Express that the ability of anyone to place a prohibited item near fuel tanks was a matter of concern.
“We know there are people working in restricted areas of airports with extremist sympathies,” he added.
An easyJet spokeswoman played down the matter, saying the graffiti was not considered to be a threat and no passengers had to be removed from the aircraft.
The spokeswoman told the Sun newpapaper: “EasyJet assessed this issue, each time working in full consultation with the authorities, and is entirely satisfied it is nothing more than graffiti.
“EasyJet takes very seriously any security related issue and would not operate a flight unless we are entirely satisfied it is completely safe to do so.
“EasyJet operates its fleet of aircraft in full compliance with all regulations.
“The safety and security of its passengers and crews is always easyJet’s highest priority.”
Written by Peter Needham