French authorities have launched a probe after passengers on board an Air France flight found a baby hidden in a woman's bag.

The one-year-old was seen moving around in the woman's luggage on board flight 1891 from Istanbul to Paris and authorities say the child did not have a valid ticket.

Witnesses reported that the woman was moved from the back of the plane to the front by cabin crew after the baby was discovered mid-way through a flight from Ataturk Airport in Turkey.

But an announcement was not made by crew to "reassure passengers", according to Planet.fr.

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Air France says it requested "the presence of French authorities on the flight's arrival" to deal with the matter.

The jet was on its way to Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Roissy, near Paris.

A witness told Planet.fr: "The cloth bag belonged to a woman sitting at the back of the unit.

"At one point, she wanted to open it and its neighbour on the other row seats saw that something was moving inside."

Air France said in a statement that the child had been travelling with "an adult".

No details of the baby's identity were given.