Two Muslim men were asked to get off a Manchester-bound plane and go back through security – after fellow travellers claimed they were 'making gestures' on board a flight.

The Manchester Evening News (MEN) reported that Thomas Cook has now apologised to the passengers who had come under suspicion after two female passengers who were on the flight told cabin crew they had witnessed the men 'skipping security scanners' and signalling to each other while aboard the plane.

The flight, which was travelling from Turkey on Wednesday 10 May, then had to be delayed as the two had to go back to the terminal for security checks.

They were eventually given the all-clear to travel on service MT685 from Izmir to Manchester Airport on Wednesday afternoon (10 May).

After the whole process had been completed, it had amounted to delays of nearly 90 minutes.

When the men were finally allowed to re-board, their accusers – who also alleged they were 'making gestures' – refused to travel with them, instead choosing to return to the terminal.

One passenger told the MEN: "Two innocent Muslim men were marched off plane and searched as two English ladies refused to fly with them on the plane.

"The result was a delay for everyone and the men flew, while the women were left behind."

It's understood the two men were in their seats and preparing for take-off when two women chose to complain to Thomas Cook cabin crew about them.

It's understood they complained about the men 'making gestures to each other' and 'going to the toilet to use their phones'.

The women were also said to have alleged the men had 'missed the security scanners', leading cabin crew to ask them if they could retrace their steps through the terminal.

A spokesman for Thomas Cook Airlines, said: "Two customers on this flight were asked to go through security a second time as a precaution, after unverified concerns were raised that the initial airport security check had missed them out.

"We'd like to thank these two customers for their patience and apologise for any inconvenience."