Dara Browne

A FLIGHT from Dublin Airport was forced to make an emergency landing today after a flock of birds were sucked into the engine.

Passengers on board the Aer Lingus plane were heading to Chicago, USA, before the pilot turned around and headed back to the Irish capital.

The incident occurred on board flight EI123 on a 16-year-old Airbus A330-300.

The plane departed from the North runway at 11.12am but was forced to do a U-turn and land on the South runway just 15 minutes later.

During takeoff, one passenger recalled “major vibrations” on board the flight.

Travellers were later informed by the pilot that a flock of pigeons had flown into one of the engines.

The passenger, who was seated by the window and filmed the takeoff and landing, said: “My #AerLingus flight EI123 from Dublin to Chicago just had a bird strike in number two engine on takeoff.

“Captain says it was a flock of pigeons. Major vibration after takeoff lead to an emergency landing back in Dublin.”

Firefighters and airport staff immediately attended the scene once the plane had landed back in Dublin Airport.

One member of staff climbed inside the engine on the right side of the plane to take a closer look.

According to the Daily Mail, a spokesperson for Aer Lingus confirmed all passengers and crew members disembarked safely.

They said: “Aer Lingus flight EI123 operating from Dublin to Chicago 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 are safely disembarking.”

Separately, Ryanair has issued alerts over strike action in Portugal and France.

The French Air Tower Control is going on strike once again, this will affect flights entering/leaving or flying over France as their airspace is closed.

Ryanair expects more flight cancellations and delays over France until April 8.

The affected passengers will be notified as soon as possible and will provide updates about their flight.

So far into this year, the French ATC had 30 days of strikes which forced the low-budget airline to cancel 3,080 flights.

And a National Border Force Strike is taking place in Portugal this week.

Staff will be taking to picket lines from April 6 to April 10.