The 44-year-old was detained on a plane at Madrid airport during a scheduled stop en route to Oran, Algeria's second city, on August 1st, the same day he abducted his daughter in Nottingham, a police spokesman said.
The man, who had lost custody of his daughter, turned up at the house where she was staying “and took her by force after threatening the staff with a firearm and tying them up,” police said in a statement.
“Officers located and detained the fugitive in a plane which was about to take off. The girl was with him”.
British police said reports that the girl had been in a children's home were inaccurate and she was in fact taken from a family home.
As part of the same investigation, British police have also arrested and charged a 43-year-old woman for child abduction, possession of a firearm, false imprisonment and aggravated burglary.
The girl was handed over to social services in Madrid until she can be returned to Britain, the Spanish police spokesman said.
The man is waiting to appear before a judge in Madrid who will decide whether to extradite him back to Britain to face trial, he added.