A Dreamliner carrying almost 250 passengers was today forced to make an emergency landing at Glasgow airport amid reports of a "possible fire" on board.

The aircraft, operated by Polish airline LOT, was en route from Chicago to Warsaw when the captain declared an emergency after reportedly smelling smoke.  

The Boeing 787, which has been grounded in the past over safety fears, was diverted to Scotland by air traffic control where it landed safely around 11.35am.

Emergency services were dispatched as a precaution but the Glasgow airport's in-house firefighters could find "no visible signs of smoke whatsover".

All 248 passengers disembarked into the terminal. No one was injured. 

The drama has been blamed on a "technical fault" and the airport's engineers were sent in to examine the plane in more detail. The airline arranged for alternative transportation so that passengers could complete their journey to Poland. 

A spokewoman for LOT, which uses the Dreamliner on all its intercontinental routes, said the plane's on-board fire detection system had alerted the crew to a possible fire in the aircraft's hatch but the incident appeared to have been a false alarm.

She said: "One of our aircraft operating a flight from Chicago to Warsaw landed in Glasgow.

"Crew had received information generated by the aircraft fire protection system located in the hatch. Due to the safety procedure pilots decided to land at the nearest airport - in Glasgow. "Airport flight control granted permission and the aircraft landed safely. Passengers were informed about the situation.

"After taxing the plane has been checked by the airport fire service. They did not identify any smoke or fire."

The incident did not cause any disruption for other travellers arriving and departing the airport.

A spokesman for Glasgow airport said: "At approximately 11.35am, Flight LO004 operated by Polish airline LOT travelling from Chicago to Warsaw and carrying 248 passengers diverted to Glasgow Airport.

"The aircraft landed safely and was met on arrival by emergency services as a precautionary measure. The aircraft was assessed and deemed safe.

"The passengers have since disembarked and a further assessment of the aircraft is being carried out. Glasgow Airport has remained open and operational throughout."

It is the latest glitch to hit the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which has been plagued with difficulties since it entered commercial service in 2011.

The entire global fleet was grounded for three months at the start of 2013 amid fears over the safety of the aircraft's lithium-ion batteries, which had overheated on two separate Dreamliners in less than two weeks.  

Boeing redesigned the battery system, although the precise cause of the problem was never conclusively proved.

However, issues resurfaced again in June and July last year when a series of Dreamliners suffered problems, including a fire on an emplty Ethiopian Airlines jet parked at Heathrow and a "minor technical issue" shortly after departure on a Thomson Airways flight from Manchester to Florida.

In January this year, Japan Airlines grounded one of its Dreamliners after routine maintenance detected smoke or gases that were suspected to have come from faults within the main battery.

The Boeing 787 is widely used, with British Airways operating it on some long-haul routes from Heathrow and Virgin Atlantic poised to launch its first Dreamliner services after taking delivery of the aircraft this month.

In Scotland, Qatar Airways fly the Dreamliner from Edinburgh to Doha and Thomson use it on its chartered holiday flights from Glasgow to Florida and Cancun.

The cutting edge aircraft is designed to use 20 per cent less fuel, with on-board features such as dawn and dusk mood lighting, quieter engines and cabin pressure calibrated to boost passengers' blood-oxygen supply said to fight jet lag.  

A spokesman for Boeing said: "We are aware of the LOT diversion of a 787 into Glasgow. We are working with our customer to assess the situation. At this time we have no further details."