A spokesman for Spain’s Civil Guard police, the 18-year-old, who was travelling with five friends, spent the night in jail and is awaiting a court hearing.
Footage from the incident showed an F-18 jet flying close to the commercial airline’s A-319 plane, which typically carries between 120 and 150 passengers.
The fighter jet is seen waggling its wings, indicating to the other pilot that he should follow him, while concerned passengers can be heard discussing what is going on, with one woman asking, “Why is it doing that, is it just showing off?”
Military planes typically intercept civilian planes when ground air traffic control loses contact with them or there is a perceived threat to the aircraft or passengers, such as a bomb warning, suspicious object, or suspected terrorist activity.
EasyJet flight EZY8303, which took off from London Gatwick at 1pm, arrived safely at Menorca airport in the Balearic Islands about half an hour later, just before 5pm, and was escorted to a security area.
The teenager was arrested there, and passengers were asked to identify their luggage for checks by sniffer dogs and bomb disposal experts over the course of two hours, according to the Civil Guard.
The incident impacted other flights departing from Menorca.
An Easyjet spokesman confirmed the flight was escorted by a military aircraft and that disembarking was delayed due to precautionary security checks, but provided no further details.
“The safety and security of its passengers and crew is always easyJet’s top priority, and we appreciate passengers’ patience,” he said.