Malaysia Airlines plane forced to turn back after passenger tries to 'get in cockpit'

Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

A Malaysia Airlines plane was forced to turn back just minutes into a flight after a passenger tried to "enter the cockpit".

Flight MH128 from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur had been in the air for just 14 minutes when the captain made the decision to return to the plane's departure airport after being alerted by cabin crew of the "disruptive passenger".

Malaysia Airlines said it would "like to stress that at no point was the aircraft 'hijacked'".

The plane was grounded in Melbourne and the passenger in question was "apprehended by airport security", the airline confirmed.

On Twitter flight tracking website Flightradar24 shared a picture of the loop the plane took as it returned to its departure airport shortly after departing at 11.11pm.

In a statement Malaysia Airlines said: "Following the incident on MH128, the disruptive passenger has been apprehended by airport security. Malaysia Airlines together with the Australian authorities will be investigating the incident.

"Safety and security are of utmost priority to Malaysia Airlines. The airline wishes to apologise for the inconvenience caused.

"Passengers have safely disembarked the aircraft and will be screened by Australian authorities.The affected passengers will be accommodated at hotels. They will be offered on the next available flight or on other carriers."