Fears were initially raised over "a possible device on board" by the pilot on board flight QR23 from Doha, Qatar, as it approached the airport.
Dramatic video footage and photos showed an RAF jet accompanying the Qatar Airways Airbus A330 as it made its descent, while passengers reported a man being removed from the plane after it landed safely.
Less than hour after the first reports, Greater Manchester Police confirmed the arrest was related to a suspected hoax.
Qatar Airways said 269 passengers were on board.
The airline said in a statement: "Qatar Airways can confirm that flight QR23 from Doha to Manchester, an Airbus A330-300, landed safely at Manchester Airport ahead of its scheduled arrival time of 13.15.
"There were 269 passengers and 13 Qatar Airways crew on board.
"The crew on board had received a threat about a possible device on board and Qatar Airways immediately took all the necessary precautions to alert British authorities."
Passenger William McDade, 60, from Perth, Australia, over visiting family in Elderslie, Renfrewshire, said: "When you are sitting on a plane there's not much you can do.
"I just thought it was an unruly passenger, a drunk. When he stood up he didn't appear to be drunk, he put his hands on his head straightaway. There was no commotion whatsoever."