Paris, DPA – A retired policemen, the passenger initially suspected over a bomb hoax on board an Air France flight, has been released.
And the airline has admitted a suspected time bomb on the plane was a cardboard box and a kitchen timer.
The hoax, the fourth against Air France in recent weeks, comes amid heightened concerns about extremist violence in many countries, and aggravated passenger jitters around the holidays.
Border guards at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris had earlier on Monday detained the 58-year-old retired policeman after he arrived back in France.
Flight AF463 was headed from Mauritius to Paris on Sunday with 473 people on board when a passenger discovered a suspicious object.
The plane was subsequently diverted to the nearest airport, which was Mombasa in Kenya.
The public prosecution service in the Parisian suburb of Bobigny says the man was the passenger who alerted the crew to the presence of the suspicious object.
The authorities earlier confirmed that an investigation had been opened into the bomb hoax, which Air France said had put lives in danger.
The airline said it is seeking to press charges against whoever planted the mock device – made of paper, cardboard and a kitchen timer – in the plane’s lavatory.
A spokeswoman confirmed that the Air France desk at Charles de Gaulle airport had filed a complaint to the state prosecution service in Bobigny.
The 459 passengers and 14 crew members were flown back to the Paris airport one day after they were forced to land in Mombasa.
Air France chief Frederic Gagey said on Sunday that there was no evidence of a safety breach on Mauritius, which is a favourite holiday destination for French nationals because a large part of the Indian Ocean island’s population can speak French.
The device did not contain any explosives and was therefore not detected by security officials there, Gagey said.