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Singapore Airlines flight turns back to Istanbul due to 'bird strike'

Flight SQ391 was forced to turn back after it encountered a "bird strike" following take-off. All 255 passengers and 14 crew disembarked normally, the airline says.

SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight SQ391 was forced to turn back to Istanbul on Monday (Aug 17), after the plane encountered a "bird strike" following take-off, the airline told Channel NewsAsia on Tuesday.

All 255 passengers and 14 crew disembarked normally, the carrier said.

The Boeing 777-200 operating from Istanbul to Singapore was originally scheduled to depart the Turkish capital at 1.30pm (Istanbul time) on Monday and arrive in Singapore at 5am (Singapore time) on Tuesday.

"Arrangements have been made for passengers to be re-booked on alternative flights into Singapore or accommodated in hotels. A relief flight from Singapore to Istanbul will be deployed today," SIA said. The relief flight is estimated to depart Istanbul at 2.40am (Istanbul Time) and arrive in Singapore at 6.06pm (Singapore Time) Tuesday.

"Our engineers on ground have been activated to assess the extent of the damage," the SIA spokesperson added.