The trial of two East Lancashire men accused of endangering the safety of a Boeing 777 they were passengers in by threatening to blow it up, was set to begin today.
The Manchester bound airliner was diverted to Stansted Airport under RAF Jet escort after the alleged threats.
Supermarket employee Tayyab Subhani (30) of Townley Street, Brierfield, and restaurant worker Mohammed Safdar (41) of Hallam Crescent, Nelson, were set to appear at the start of the six week trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.
The pair have both pleaded not guilty to communicating false information that the crew and passengers would be killed and the aircraft blown up before landing on May 24th.
Their Pakistan International Airways flight PK709, carrying 308 passengers and 14 crew from Lahore to Manchester, was diverted to Stansted ten minutes before it was due to land and was shadowed by an RAF Typhoon fighter jet after the pilot reported threats.