Flight MH128 from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur returned to Melbourne shortly after takeoff late on Wednesday "after the operating captain was alerted by a cabin crew of a passenger attempting to enter the cockpit", the airline said.
Mr Leoncelli said the man ran to the back of the plane, where two other passengers grabbed him, removed the device, and "put hog ties on him".
Australian police said they checked that there was no bomb, and the incident is not being treated as terror related.
The man was detained after the plane returned to the airport and Victoria Police said the man did not gain entry to the cockpit.
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Those passengers held the man on the floor "with eight feet" on his head, back and legs, and hog tied him as the flight turned around the returned to Melbourne Airport.
Around 11 passengers helped tackle the man at the back of the plane, and the aircraft immediately turning back for Melbourne Airport after the man had been restrained, according to multiple media reports.
"I would say that it would have been quite heroic for the crew and passengers to restrain this person", Victorian Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said.
Stating that a follow up investigation will be initiated upon the return of the aircraft, Liow said the passengers' safety remains a top priority in this instance.
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After they were allowed to deboard the plane, passengers were interviewed on the tarmac and were made to wait for several additional hours at the airport.
Police also defended why it took 90 minutes to get passengers off the plane, saying it had to take into account the possibility of there being more offenders and multiple devices.
"Following the incident on MH128, the disruptive passenger has been apprehended by airport security, " the statement went on.
The Australian Security authorities have screened all baggage and it is being transferred on the respective flights that passengers are rebooked on.
The passenger was later arrested by Australian authorities in Melbourne.
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