Last updated: 04:15 PM ET, Wed July 22 2015

Bird Strike Forces Egypt-Bound Thomas Cook Flight Back to Manchester Airport

Impacting Travel | Patrick Clarke | July 22, 2015

Bird Strike Forces Egypt-Bound Thomas Cook Flight Back to Manchester Airport

An Egypt-bound Thomas Cook flight was forced to return to England's Manchester Airport shortly after takeoff Tuesday afternoon after striking a bird, an airport spokesman confirmed to the Manchester Evening News.

After declaring a general emergency, the flight's captain turned the Boeing 767 around.

The plane, which was carrying 339 passengers and crew, landed at Manchester Airport around 3 p.m. local time Tuesday, where it was met by emergency services. 

The plane touched down without issue and there were no injuries reported.

A spokesman for Thomas Cook said that the engine fan blade was the only part of the plane that sustained damage and that the engine didn't need to be shut off. Nonetheless because of the damage, passengers were forced to deplane and await a replacement flight. 

"A bird hit the engine during takeoff and the captain chose to turn around," added the airline spokesman via the Evening News. "We are now investigating, the damage will be repaired by our engineers to ensure it is fit to fly."

"We will look after our passengers, provide refreshments and food and make every effort to ensure they can continue their journey," he concluded. 

TravelPulse's Rich Thomaselli noted Wednesday that the Federal Aviation Administration estimates as many as 300 collisions between birds and planes occur each year. Meanwhile, TravelPulse founder and CEO Mark Murphy appeared on CBS News Live Wednesday morning to talk about the agency's response to the growing problem.

You can view the discussion in its entirety in the video below. 

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