Bird strike forces Tui plane bound for Rhodes to divert from Bournemouth Airport
A BIRD strike forced a plane taking off from Bournemouth Airport to divert to London, delaying passengers by over seven hours.
The TUI flight had just departed for the Greek island of Rhodes shortly after 3pm on Saturday when the flight crew reported a collision with the bird.
This resulted in the pilot being redirected to Gatwick Airport where a full inspection and repairs to the aircraft could be carried out.
However, a shortage of ground handling staff meant passengers could not wait in the terminal but had to remain on the plane while a replacement craft was sourced.
A new air crew also had to be found to avoid a night stop in London for returning passengers from Rhodes as the original one would have exceeded legally permitted hours.
A TUI spokesperson said: “We can confirm flight TOM6624 unfortunately reported a bird strike shortly after take-off from Bournemouth on 10th September.
“The aircraft therefore had to divert to Gatwick Airport for an engineering inspection and subsequent repairs.
“Customers were updated throughout and provided with refreshments and given a new departure time of 10.10pm as they had to wait for a replacement aircraft.
“Customers arrived in Rhodes safely in the early hours of 11th September.”