An Air China flight from Paris to Beijing returned to Paris 40 minutes after taking off due to a bomb threat…that was never actually made.
When I worked at Frankfurt Airport, we would receive “alert” emails no less than once per week noting partial or full terminal closures. Whenever a passenger would leave a baggage or package unattended, airport police cordoned off the area in order to more securely inspect or destroy the bag.
A smilar occurence in Paris meant that passengers were blocked from the Air China counter. One passenger, speaking in English, called Air China to ask for alternate options if he missed his flight. An Air China employee on the ground thought he heard the man reporting a bomb threat on Beijing-bound CA876. This employee called Air China HQ, who opted to divert the flight back to Paris.
Early on Chinese state media reported the flight returned to Paris due to “suspected terrorist information.” That was later clarified as a false alarm. As the AP reports, China’s overabundance of caution is linked to its “People’s War on Terror” campaign:
China’s government has instituted increasingly severe security measures in recent years, particularly targeting the Muslim Uighur and Buddhist Tibetan minorities. It launched a sweeping “People’s War on Terror” in the restive northwestern region of Xinjiang, a vast region with more than 10 million Muslims.
After returning to Paris, CA876 took off again for Paris at 9:00p.m. CET.