The flight, AI 191, was on its way from Mumbai to New York's Newark airport when it turned back over Northern Ireland and was diverted to Stansted, north of London.
An RAF Typhoon fighter jet was scrambled to intercept the civilian aircraft, the Ministry of Defence confirmed. "The aircraft was safely escorted to Stansted airport," a statement read.
Social media users and local news outlets reported a loud boom being heard across a wide part of East England and the Midlands as the jet travelled at supersonic speeds.
Derybshire Police tweeted: "If you heard a loud bang over #Derbyshire today, this was as a result of a @RoyalAirForce jet passing over that caused a sonic boom."
Stansted said its runway was briefly closed to accommodate the landing of the Air India plane, and that it had since reopened. Upon arrival at Stansted, the aircraft was parked on an isolated stand far from normal operations.
"We are sorry for any disruption caused by the incident and would like to thank you for your patience," Stansted Airport said on Twitter.
The Boeing 777 had taken off over three hours late from Mumbai. It is not clear whether that delay was connected with security concerns.
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