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    Aer Lingus

    IATA/ICAO Code:
    EI/EIN

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Hub(s):
    Dublin Airport

    Year Founded:
    1938

    Airline Group:
    IAG

    CEO:
    Lynne Embleton

    Country:
    Ireland

Yesterday afternoon, Irish Taoiseach/Prime Minister Micheál Martin took to the skies onboard Aer Lingus flight EI107 from Dublin Airport (DUB) to New York JFK. His intention with this trip was to attend the United Nations General Assembly. However, a bird strike involving this transatlantic service delayed his journey.

Second time lucky

According to data from FlightRadar24.com, Aer Lingus flight EI107 departed Dublin Airport at 17:18 local time yesterday. While this was 28 minutes late compared to its scheduled 16:50 departure, such a delay wouldn’t typically be the end of the world. However, this lateness was about to become much more significant due to, as Sky News reported, a bird strike that the aircraft experienced shortly after takeoff.

This is said to have led to vibrations in the right-hand engine, resulting in the decision to return to Dublin. As seen on the map below, the aircraft was just about to leave the Irish mainland at the point that it turned around. After landing back in Dublin at 18:11, a replacement aircraft took off at 20:44. It arrived in New York at 22:31 local time, just over three hours late. An Aer Lingus spokesperson stated:

“Aer Lingus flight EI107 operating from Dublin to New York JFK this afternoon was required to turn back when the aircraft experienced a bird strike shortly after take-off. The aircraft landed safely at Dublin Airport and all customers and crew safely disembarked.”

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EI107 Map

The flight only reached an altitude of 19,000 feet. Image: FlightRadar24.com

High praise

Despite the delay to the flight, Martin was full of praise for the way that the crew of the near-full flight handled the incident. According to the Irish Examiner, the Taoiseach confirmed upon arriving at Dublin Airport that he was “perfectly fine,” with those close to him adding that “there was not a bother on him.” Martin stated:

“I commend and pay tribute to Captain Karl Quinn and the staff for their professional handling of the aircraft.”

It is interesting to see that Martin was using a regular commercial flight, given the recent discourse surrounding politicians’ travel plans. Specifically, whether US President Joe Biden would fly to the recent funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on Air Force One was debated, given that attendees were, where possible, asked to fly commercially. Ultimately, he did make use of the converted Boeing 747.

Aer Lingus Airbus A330-302 EI-EAV (2)

The aircraft involved (not pictured) remained on the ground at the time of writing. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

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The flight and aircraft involved

Aer Lingus flight EI107 is the second of two daily scheduled departures from Dublin Airport to New York JFK. The other is EI105, which is scheduled to leave the Irish capital at 10:55, and touch down in the Big Apple at 13:25 local time. Additionally, the Irish flag carrier also serves the nearby Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) once a day with flight EI101 (departs 13:05, arrives 15:50).

The aircraft that suffered the bird strike while operating flight EI107 yesterday was an Airbus A330-300 registered as EI-FNH. According to ch-aviation.com, this 317-seat widebody is 6.05 years old and is one of 11 in the Aer Lingus fleet. It was replaced by EI-EIN, a 2.61-year-old A330 that features the carrier’s new livery.

What do you make of this incident? Have you ever been onboard a flight that has had to divert due to a bird strike? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

Sources: ch-aviation.com, FlightRadar24.com, Irish Examiner, Sky News

Source: simpleflying.com

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