Bird strike forces Irish PM's flight to turn back on way to New York for UN meeting

·2-min read

A plane taking the Irish PM Micheal Martin from Dublin to the UN General Assembly in New York was forced to turn back after the aircraft was struck by a bird shortly after take-off.

The Aer Lingus flight left the Irish capital around 5pm on Wednesday en route to JFK Airport, before returning 90 minutes later at 6.30pm.

The jet is believed to have experienced a vibration in its right-hand engine after the bird strike.

A spokesperson for the Irish airline said: "Aer Lingus flight EI107 operating from Dublin to New York JFK 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 safely disembarked.

"We plan to operate the flight later this evening on a replacement aircraft."

The airline apologised to customers for any inconvenience caused by the delay.

Mr Martin is due to join world leaders at the annual UN summit in Manhattan, where US President Joe Biden used his address to condemn Russia's invasion in Ukraine.

He took to the stage hours after Vladimir Putin declared a partial mobilisation for the Russia's military and issued a nuclear threat to Western leaders, warning: "I am not bluffing".

Mr Biden told the UN General Assembly the "brutal and needless" war was "chosen by one man" and that Mr Putin had made "irresponsible nuclear threats" as he "attempted to erase a sovereign state from the map".

The conflict is about "extinguishing Ukraine's right to exist as a state," the president said.

"Wherever you are, that should make your blood run cold."

Prime Minister Liz Truss joined Mr Biden in describing Mr Putin's statements on Ukraine as "belligerent".

Both leaders said the Kremlin's actions "highlight the need for allies to continue their economic and military support to Ukraine."

Ms Truss told the president the UK would recommit to "at least the same level of defensive support for Ukraine next year", a Downing Street spokesperson said.

In her first speech to the world stage as PM, Ms Truss will say Putin's nuclear threats are a desperate attempt to justify his "catastrophic" failure in Ukraine.