Portland, Ore. — An Alaska Airlines flight en route to San Francisco was diverted to Portland International Airport (PDX) on Sunday due to a ‘credible security threat,’ according to the airline.
The flight took off from Everett, Washington, and was bound for San Francisco, California on October 22 when it reported a “credible security threat related to an authorized occupant in the flight deck jump seat,” as confirmed by Alaska Airlines. The flight crew was able to secure the aircraft following established Federal Aviation Administration procedures and guidance from air traffic control, leading to the decision to divert the plane to PDX.
Joseph Emerson, aged 44, was arrested by the Port of Portland early on Monday. He is facing 83 counts of attempted murder, 83 counts of reckless endangerment, and endangering an aircraft in connection with this incident.
Alaska Airlines has not provided further details regarding the nature of the security threat, and law enforcement agencies are currently conducting an investigation.
The aircraft involved in this incident was operated by Horizon Air and was identified as Alaska Airlines flight 2059.
Alaska Airlines expressed its appreciation for the professionalism displayed by the Horizon flight crew in handling the situation and thanked the passengers for their calm and patience throughout the event.
All passengers were accommodated on an alternative flight following the diversion.