An Etihad Airways flight was forced to return to Manchester airport after reports of a problem shortly after take off.

The aircraft bund for Abu Dhabi left Manchester at 7.28pm last night but performed a loop before heading back to the airport and landing again just before 8pm.

According to website Flight Alerts which tracks air traffic control communications, the flight reported a ‘loud bang’ shortly after take-off.

An airport spokesperson confirmed the fire service has been called to the runway in line with procedure.

One passenger claimed on Facebook that there had been a small fire at the back of the aircraft.

Etihad Airways said in a statement: “Etihad Airways confirms that flight EY22, Manchester to Abu Dhabi returned to Manchester airport shortly after take-off, due to a technical issue.

“The aircraft landed safely and passengers have disembarked. Etihad Airways apologises for the delay and inconvenience to passengers. Safety is the airline’s number one priority.”