An EgyptAir flight returning from London's Heathrow Airport to Cairo was delayed Friday to Saturday after a bird strike caused some damage to the nose of the airplane (flight MS 779) as it neared landing at London's largest airport, according to a Saturday statement by EgyptAir.
The return flight (MS 780), which was scheduled to take off at 10:30pm on Friday, was delayed and the passengers accomodated in a hotel near Heathrow Airport.
Eventually, passengers were routed on the 2pm flight on Saturday and arrived in Cairo at 9:22pm.
The Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which sustained some damage to its nose, underwent maintenance in England before returning home late Saturday night.
Struck plane undergoes maintenance in London (Photo courtesy of EgyptAir engineer Ahmed Ismail)
According to a report on wildlife hazards management and control presented by Egypt at an International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) meeting in Cairo last May, "Due to growing traffic, comprised of greater numbers of quieter aircrafts, and the increase in wildlife populations, greater effort is required to control and monitor wildlife movements on and within the vicinity of airports."
ICAO standards request that airports take measures to reduce the risk of bird-aircraft collisions, 90 percent of which happen within the vicinity of airports, according to the ICAO's Bird Strike Information System.
In the United States, 99,530 wildlife strikes to civil aircraft occurred between 1990 and 2014, including 8,659 strikes with damage resulting to the aircraft, according to a Federal Aviation Organisation report issued last July.