A fire forced a passenger plane to land back at the airport where it had just taken off.

The China Southern Airlines Airbus was climbing out of Penang in Malaysia en route to Guangzhou in China on December 23 when a powerbank caught fire in a passenger’s luggage.

As soon as the cabin crew spotted smoke spiralling from the overhead locker the aircraft’s climb was stopped at 9,000ft.

According to the Aviation Herald, cabin crew donned their smoke hoods and discharged two fire extinguishers into the overhead locker while the flight crew flew the aircraft back to Penang.

The cabin crew managed to put the fire out and secure the powerbank, but the incident caused problems for the flight crew.

They aborted the first approach at 3,000 feet, entered a hold at 5,000 feet, later 7,000 feet, to burn off fuel and landed safely back in Penang about 2 hours and 20 minutes after departure.

The aircraft remained on the ground for just over 10 hours and eventually reached Guangzhou with a delay of about 13 hours.

It is the latest in a growing number of fires in personal electronic items taken on board aircraft by passengers.

* One way to tackle such incidents is to use an AvSax fire containment bag which can deal with fires in personal electronic devices and are now carried on planes operated by 65 airline companies across the world – including some of the biggest and best-known.

AvSax  – which won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise this year - has been used 28 times to deal with emergencies since the start of 2017.

More than 13,000 are now carried on planes worldwide. If they are deployed they can be so effective the aircraft do not need to divert to another airports to make emergency landings which can cost airlines a fortune.