THREE planes have been diverted to Leeds Bradford Airport after a passenger airliner had to be  escorted into Manchester Airport by an RAF fighter jet today.

Flights in and out of Manchester were temporarily stopped after the pilot of a Qatar Airways flight to the airport from Doha, Qatar, reported there was a device on board.

The flight landed in Manchester shortly after 1pm.

A man pulled from the plane by police has been arrested on suspicion of making a hoax bomb threat, a spokesman for the Greater Manchester force said.

A Qatar Airways statement said: "Qatar Airways can confirm that flight QR23 from Doha to Manchester, an Airbus A330-300, landed safely at Manchester Airport ahead of its scheduled arrival time of 13.15.

"There were 269 passengers and 13 Qatar Airways crew on board. The crew onboard had received a threat about a possible device on board and Qatar Airways immediately took all the necessary precautions to alert British authorities.

"The crew is now fully assisting police at the airport with their inquiries. The safety and well-being of our passengers and crew is our top priority. As this is a matter of a police investigation, we cannot comment further at this time.”

Greater Manchester Police reported that the airport was back to normal operations shortly after 2pm.