Turkish Airlines says authorities at Istanbul's main airport have searched a plane bound for the central Turkish city of Kayseri over a bomb threat, the latest in a series of hoax scares targeting the company.

The airline said flight TK2014 with 133 passengers on board was preparing for take-off on Monday but was forced to return to a parking area to be searched.

It said: "The procedure has ended and it was understood that the warning was false."

Several Turkish Airlines flights have been disrupted by bomb scares over the past year, including many cases of notes found in toilets, reportedly costing the company millions of dollars.