The object was analyzed and found to contain no explosives, the airline said.
Air France CEO Frederic Gagey described the object as a cardboard box containing papers, with “something like a kitchen timer” inside it.
It was found by a passenger in a cabinet behind the restroom mirror, he said. He could not say whether the object was assembled before the flight, but the materials would not usually be on board the aircraft.
‘It seems like a nasty joke’
He said an inquiry will determine who planted the item in the restroom, an act he described as “stupid” and “completely unacceptable.”
“It seems like a nasty joke,” he said. “This is behavior which is in extremely bad taste.”
A suspicious device found in the toilet of an Air France flight to Paris is a bomb, Kenyan authorities have said.
Two suspects from flight 463 – which was carrying 472 people – are being questioned by Kenyan security forces after the Paris-bound flight from Mauritius was forced to make an emergency landing in Mombasa at 12.37am when a suspicious looking package was discovered in the toilet.
A statement was posted online by Kenya Airports Authority under the heading “Kenyan Security foil a bombing attempt on Air France”.
The statement said: “Kenyan bomb experts discover a bomb inside Air France at Moi International Airport, Mombasa. The explosive was carried away to a safe place outside the airport.
“Bomb experts from the Kenya Navy took the bomb away to safety. The Kenyan security is zeroing in on two passengers who appear suspicious.
“The Mombasa Security team and Airport security in Mombasa have also secured the Airport and all critical facilities around.
“The bomb has been taken to safe destination for detonation in the morning.”
All 459 passengers and 13 crew were escorted safely off the aircraft, while the bomb was taken by the Kenyan navy to be detonated safely away from the airport.
Kenyan bomb experts have been examining the device since the plane landed, while passengers have been taken to nearby hotels. The security services have cordoned off the airport and flights have been suspended.
Nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.