A WestJet Boeing 737-800 bound for Victoria from Calgary has landed in Vancouver after striking a flock of birds on Tuesday, smashing the aircraft’s nose cone in. A statement by the airplines said a decision was made to divert to Vancouver due to the availability of maintenance resources.
It said the flight landed normally and the aircraft has subsequently been removed from service for required safety inspections. WestJet said it sincerely apologizes for the interruption to passengers’ travel plans and any inconvenience it may have caused. It added all 31 passengers are being accommodated throughout the rest of the day on the next available flights.
Victoria airport says roughly 20-30 bird strikes occur in the area per year, but this was an extreme case, and add their wildlife control policy is evaluated on a consistent basis. “It is reviewed annually by the Airport. And it involves identifying risks and putting in measures to minimize wildlife interactions with aircraft,” said Spokesperson Rod Hunchak.