SpiceJet flight (SG 2441) with 77 passengers onboard suffered a bird hit while landing at the Hubli airport on Saturday afternoon.

The pilot, however, landed the flight safely. The aircraft is a Bombardier Q400, which flies on the Hubli-Mumbai route.

After initial inspection of the damage, the crew decided not to fly back to Mumbai as per the schedule. The SpiceJet authorities made arrangements to fly the passengers in another aircraft in the evening.

M. Basavaraj, director of Hubli airport, told The Hindu that the captain had informed them that the aircraft could not be used for the return journey. “As a result, another aircraft from Goa was pressed into service for the flight back to Mumbai,” he said.

Mr. Basavaraj said technical expertise was required to assess the damage to the aircraft and certify its fitness to resume the journey. “The technician at Hubli airport can only do a routine check-up. As there is no electronics engineer available at the airport, we have to call one from Bangalore or Goa. The aircraft will resume its journey only after proper inspection and certification by a competent authority,” he said.

Meanwhile, the airline provided refreshments and made necessary arrangements for the stranded passengers.