LARNACA, Cyprus – A Lufthansa passenger plane en route to Tel Aviv was diverted to Cyprus on Tuesday, escorted by Israeli war planes, after the airline received a bomb threat, officials said.
Stella Urumi, a Lufthansa (search) spokeswoman in Cyprus, said all 331 passengers and 16 crew members were in good condition after landing safely in Larnaca (search). Their luggage was to be searched.
Urumi said the plane was expected to proceed to Tel Aviv by evening.
The threat was received in a phone call to the airline's office in Frankfurt, Germany. The Israeli spokesman for Lufthansa, Yitzhak Zaroni, said the caller spoke with an Arabic accent.
"When the plane was in the air, there was a telephone call in Germany that said there was an explosive device on the plane," Zaroni told Israel TV's Channel 10.
After consulting with Israeli authorities, the airline diverted the Boeing 747 (search) to Larnaca. Urumi said the pilots' request to land in Tel Aviv had been rejected and Larnaca was the nearest available airport.
In Frankfurt, Lufthansa spokeswoman Amelie Lorenz said the airline consulted with German authorities and determined that the threat was not serious, but "the Israeli authorities asked for an intermediate landing."
Lorenz said the threat call was received after the plane took off at 10:10 a.m.