This photo shows the nose of the Boeing 737-800 struck by multiple birds as it was approaching Victoria International Airport Tuesday morning. WestJet re-routed the plane to Vancouver. (Peter Wagner/Twitter)

Bird strike diverts plane from Victoria landing

Plane with 31 passengers was travelling from Calgary, lands in Vancouver

Thirty one passengers travelling to Victoria escaped injury after multiple birds hit their plane as it was approaching Victoria International Airport Tuesday morning.

The passengers travelling on Westjet Flight #209 from Calgary landed “normally and safely” in Vancouver after the birds struck the plane, a Boeing 737-800, as it was approaching Victoria, said Morgan Bell, advisor, media and public relations, with WestJet.

Bell said “due to the availability of maintenance resources” the company made the decision to divert the plane to Vancouver, where it “landed normally.” The company has subsequently removed the aircraft for service for required safety inspections.

RELATED: Passenger jet makes emergency landing in Abbotsford after hitting birds

“We sincerely apologize for the interruption to our guests’ travel plans and any inconvenience this may have caused,” she said. “All guests are being reaccommodated throughout the remainder of the day on the next available flights.”

Photos circulating on social media show a notable dent in the plane’s nose cone. WestJet, however, did not yet respond to key questions concerning the incident, including the location and time of the strike. The plane was scheduled to arrive in Victoria at 9:02 a.m.

The Peninsula News Review has also reached out to a passenger travelling on the plane for comment and will update this story as details become available.


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wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

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