VALLETTA, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- An airplane flying a domestic route in Libya abruptly changed its course and landed in Malta on Friday, in what local sources said was a potential hijacking.

The Afriqiyah Airways plane departed the southern Libyan city of Sebha at 7:00 a.m. on Friday, originally on its way to the Libyan capital Tripoli, sources said.

Local sources said that two people on board the flight were threatening to blow up the aircraft. A total of 111 passengers and a crew of seven were on the plane.

Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said on his Twitter account that he was "informed of potential hijack situation of a Libya internal flight diverted to Malta. Security and emergency operations standing by."

Malta International Airport has instigated several emergency measures. Malta's Armed Forces have been deployed, including the counter terrorism unit.

The zone around the airport has been closed off.

Malta International Airport reminded passengers of keeping updated via its website, as other flights scheduled to land in Malta after 11.30 a.m. could be turned away.