Bird strikes ground Vietnam Airlines planes, delay flights

By Doan Loan   October 3, 2016 | 12:46 am PT
Bird strikes ground Vietnam Airlines planes, delay flights
A Boeing 787 operated by Vietnam Airlines. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Hoa
Two aircraft hit birds as they were attempting to land in Hanoi and Saigon.

Two Boeing aircraft operated by Vietnam Airlines flew into birds when landing at Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat airports on Sunday night, causing a series of delays at Vietnam’s two major airports.

The aircraft were grounded for repairs to their engines that were damaged in the collisions, a source from the carrier said. No injuries were reported.

Both aircraft were serviced last month. The Boeing 787 started flying in August last year and the Boeing 777 was put into service around 13 years ago.

Many flights on Sunday night and Monday morning were delayed. Passengers on flights from Hanoi to Tokyo and from Ho Chi Minh City to Seoul left six to eight hours later than scheduled.

Several domestic flights on Monday were also pushed back from 30 minutes to one hour.

Bird collisions have threatened the safety of many flights in Vietnam.

In August, a Vietnam Airlines plane heading from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City had to return to Noi Bai around 20 minutes after departure after hitting a bird.

A Vietjet aircraft also had to be grounded in Hanoi for repairs to its nose cone after a bird strike during a domestic flight in October last year. At least 11 bird strikes were recorded in the first half of 2014.

Officials from the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam said different measures have been used to keep birds away from Vietnam's airports but none have proven effective.

The Airports Corporation of Vietnam has proposed a $52-million initiative to help detect strange objects on runways such as birds, put that plan is pending approval after raising hackles over its feasibility.

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