Aegean Airlines A321 Returns to Athens After Bird Strike

An Aegean Airlines Airbus approaches to land.
MarcelX42, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
3 Min Read

An Aegean Airlines flight bound for London from Athens was forced to return to the departure airport after suffering a bird strike on Thursday, March 21.

Aegean Airlines flight A3606, an Airbus A321 departing from Athens made the decision to return after the bird strike incident shortly after takeoff.

The aircraft bound for London Gatwick Airport (LGW) was still on climb in the Athens area when the incident occurred.

Aegean Airlines A3606 Athens-London

Flight crew subsequently terminated the client procedure at FL170 (17,000 feet). The aircraft then negotiated a direct return to Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos (ATH).

The return landing was carried out approximately 20 minutes after initial departure. The flight landed safely without any further incident. Flight crew did not declare a formal emergency and made the return under normal operating procedures.

Flight data shows that Aegean flight A3606 made an on-time departure out of Athens and had set set course normally.

Having departed at 07:17 UTC, the climb was subsequently terminated at 07:26, just nine minutes later.

The aircraft conducting the A3606 rotation to London Gatwick was an Airbus A321- 200N, registration SX-NAL. This is a one year old narrowbody aircraft belonging to the Greek carrier Aegean Airlines.

The extent of the damage to the aircraft has not been disclosed, however a replacement aircraft was mustered to carry out flight A3606.

The replacement aircraft completed the flight to London Gatwick following a delay of approximately one hour 30 minutes.

About Aegean Airlines

Aegean Airlines, the national carrier of Greece, is a major player in the European and regional airline market. It boasts the largest fleet and passenger base in Greece.

The airline primarily operates short and medium-haul flights, strategically catering to the tourism industry and regional travel needs.

Despite this focus, the airline maintains a broad network exceeding 150 destinations across 44 countries. This reach extends throughout Europe and the Middle East, offering passengers a convenient way to explore the broader region.


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Aegean Airlines flight A3606, an A321 bound for London, was forced to make a return to Athens after suffering a bird strike just after departure on 17 March.
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