Beijing: A spate of hoax bomb threats in China on Wednesday affected flight schedules in the country.
Five flights operated by China Eastern Airlines, Juneyao Airlines and Shenzhen Airlines were affected after they received threats that explosives were placed in the planes.
Juneyao Airlines received a threat call and recalled its flight to Shanghai to carry out the security check.
Police found that there was no danger to the aircraft, the airline said.
After all passengers and luggage passed a safety screening, the flight took off in another plane, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
China Eastern Airlines flight MU 2325 from Lanzhou to Xi`an was also safely cleared after the airline received a similar threat.
Shenzhen Airlines received multiple threats. The Airlines` flight ZH 9866 from Nanjing returned to the city after take off due to hoax bomb.
Flight ZH 9243 departing from Xi`an was forced to land in the city of Guilin, while flight ZH 9889 departing from Beijing was delayed.
So far, these aircraft have taken off or were planning to take off after further security checks found no abnormalities, the report said At least 10 cases of bomb threats on flights were reported in China last year, creating huge losses for airlines and airports.
Passengers complained online that bomb scares have seriously threatened their safety and interrupted their travel plans.
According to China`s criminal law and civil aviation law, those who intentionally disturb flight operations by fabricating and spreading terror information may receive punishments ranging from detention to a jail term of less than five years, or more than five years for those whose actions had severe consequences, the report said.
Experts have urged tougher punishments to curb "copycat crimes" among others.