UPDATE: Gold Coast Airport has confirmed an investigation is underway after an incident forced an AirAsia X flight to divert to Brisbane.
It had just taken off from Coolangatta around 8pm on Monday when it’s believed bird flew into an engine.
“Flight D7 207 departed Gold Coast Airport bound for Kuala Lumpur … and experienced a suspected bird strike shortly after take-off,” GCA explains in a statement released on Tuesday.
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“The aircraft was diverted to Brisbane and landed safely.”
The Airport insists “passenger safety is of paramount importance” and it has “an extensive wildlife management program” in place.
“The airport also has a long-standing relationship with a leading bird strike management specialist, providing technical advice and assistance in active management of wildlife at the airport.
“Gold Coast Airport is working with all involved stakeholders in regards to an investigation into the incident.
EARLIER: There has been another drama on board an Air Asia flight, this time for the Gold Coast.
The flight, which was heading to Kuala Lumpur, was forced to divert to Brisbane after experiencing engine trouble shortly after taking off from Gold Coast Airport on Monday night.
Passengers on board say they heard loud bangs and saw sparks coming from the engine.
“AirAsia X Flight D7 207 bound for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was diverted after experiencing a suspected bird strike to its starboard engine shortly after takeoff at Gold Coast Airport at 22:20hrs local time tonight,” the airline said in a statement on Tuesday morning.
“Two birds remains were found on the runway.”
The flight, which was carrying 345 passengers and 14 crew, touched down in Brisbane just over an hour later without any trouble.
The airline says it’s working to get them on to another flight as soon as possible.
“We are following all regulatory guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of our guests, who are currently being attended to by our ground staff,” AirAsia X CEO Benyamin Ismail said.
“We would like to commend our pilot and crew members for their professionalism and swift action to reassure passengers who were on board flight D7 207 and to land the aircraft safely in Brisbane airport.”
It’s not the first time the airline had has trouble.
Just last week AirAsia X launched an investigation into what caused the mid-air safety scare on flight D7237 on June 25, when passengers reported engine failure. The flight, also bound for Kuala Lumpur, was turned back to Perth.
The investigation, being conducted in conjunction with engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce, is expected to take months.