Bird strike grounds Hong Kong-bound NAC Airbus

KATHMANDU: A Nepal Airlines Airbus has been grounded after suffering a bird strike at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu this morning, officials said.

According to NAC spokesperson Ramhari Sharma, a bird hit the aircraft during the take-off roll on the runway at TIA at around 10:10 am. The narrow-body jet commanded by senior captain RP Dhakal was preparing to take off for Hong Kong with 59 passengers and crew members aboard.

"The plane was immediately grounded after it suffered some damage in its engines; but all passengers and crew are safe," an eyewitness at the TIA said, adding that airport technicians were evaluating the damages.

According to officials at the Commercial and Flight Operations Department at NAC, it was planning to reschedule the Hong Kong flight for later today itself once its another plane would return from New Delhi.

As bird strike incidents are common at the TIA, the country's sole international airport has still been ill-equipped in terms of minimising the risks. Sources claimed that an Oman Air Boeing 738 had also suffered a bird strike on Tuesday evening while it was preparing to take off for Muscat.

"The plane remained grounded after suffering a major damage to its left engine after a bird hit it while being pushed back on a taxiway" an official claimed.