By Doron Sajet

A TUI Netherlands Boeing 737 MAX 8 returned to Schiphol this morning due to a collision with a flock of seagulls. According to a spokesperson for TUI, there is considerable damage to the nose of the device. The Boeing had left the Zwanenburgbaan at around 07:50 to fly to Gran Canaria, but landed safely at Schiphol’s Buitenveldertbaan just after 09:00.

According to the spokesperson, the aircraft was inspected by the technical service of TUI at Schiphol. The damage to the nose turned out to be extensive. In a ‘bird strike’, birds either collide with the fuselage of the aircraft or fly into the engines. In the latter case, it is possible for the pilots to turn off the affected engine and fly to the nearest airport.

The crew of flight OR1631 to Gran Canaria chose to return to Schiphol. The aircraft first made three rounds over South Holland and then flew back to the Buitenveldertbaan. There the Boeing was awaited by the emergency services of Schiphol. The passengers will go to Gran Canaria later today with a replacement aircraft.


In January 2021, such a bird strike was accidentally filmed by a spotter at Schiphol. You can see how a bird flies into the left engine of a DHL Airbus A300 and causes a flash of flame. An employee of the Schiphol bird control then picks up the carcass from the Polderbaan. This crew did not choose to return, but flew on to the original destination Leipzig.