PIA
A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Boeing 777 aircraft takes off from Karachi airport on November 11, 2010. — Photo by AFP

KARACHI: An airliner was forced to land shortly after takeoff in Pakistan on Friday after a passenger made a hijack threat, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) officials said.

The domestic flight carrying more than 50 passengers and five crew had left Karachi on its way to the eastern city of Bahawalpur, a spokesman for the national flag-carrier said.

“Soon after the plane took off a passenger on board warned the staff that he could hijack the plane,” Sultan Hasan told AFP.

“The captain was informed of the situation, who returned the plane back after getting the nod from the control tower.”

The passenger was detained and handed over to security personnel for questioning, PIA said, and the plane was searched and found safe.

Pakistan's aviation industry has been in the spotlight after a Boeing 737 of private airline Bhoja Air crashed near Islamabad on April 20, killing all 127 people on board.

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