A Malaysia Airlines plane was forced to return to Melbourne after a man who claimed to have a bomb attempted to enter the cockpit.

Shortly after take-off, passengers onboard flight MH128, traveling from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur, tackled a man carrying a strange object as he moved towards the front of the plane.

Cabin crew then restrained the man before the police arrived at around 11.40pm and a tactical response police took control of the the Airbus A330.

Police have confirmed that the man did not have a bomb and that the incident was not an act of terror.

Passengers are cooperating with the police investigation.

Former AFL player Andrew Leoncelli was onboard the aircraft at the time of the incident.

He has told radio station 3AW how he could hear the man saying that he wanted to see the pilot and arguing with the crew when they asked him to sit down.

“I said mate, what are you effing doing? And he said ‘I’m going to blow the f**king plane up, I’m going to blow the f**king plane up,” says Leoncelli.