Indian media reported that a peacock struck the Sharjah-Coimbatore flight as it was preparing to land
An Air Arabia flight flying between Sharjah and the southern Indian city of Coimbatore was grounded on Sunday after a bird strike, according to Indian news outlets.
The flight, G9413, was landing at about 3:50am when a bird, which various Indian newspapers are reporting was a peacock, struck the Airbus A320, causing minor damage.
“The pilot immediately informed air traffic control and the aircraft was landed safely,” an airport source told the Times of India.
Because of the incident, the return flight to Sharjah – G9414 – was cancelled until the damage could be repaired, the newspaper reported.
“Materials to seal the hole were brought from Bengalaru,” the source added. “The repair work was completed on Sunday evening.”
The flight, which was supposed to take off from Coimbatatore at 4:40am, finally took off at 9pm at night, arriving in Sharjah at 11:25pm local time.
According to airport officials, the bird strike marks the first such incident that has caused damage to an aircraft in Coimbatore, which has taken a number of steps to mitigate the threat of bird strikes.
In a statement, Air Arabia confirmed the incident and noted that passengers were offered hotel stay and "all necessary assistance" while required inspection and maintenance checks
In a separate incident that took place on the same flight, Indian newspapers are reporting that a passenger on board G9414 was taken into custody by local authorities after it was found that he had a warrant for his arrest in the state of Kerala.