A flight full of North East holidaymakers jetting off to Cape Verde was this morning forced to land in Manchester after suffering a bird strike.

The flight, codenamed TOM800, took off from Newcastle Airport shortly after 9.30am on Tuesday (April 23) headed for Espargos in Cape Verde.

But after reaching 26,000ft just half an hour into the six-hour flight the plane began to descend over the North West following a bird strike.

A bird strike is where an airborne animal hits the aircraft, potentially causing serious damage to the plane and often resulting in pilots declaring an emergency.

The plane, a Boeing 737MAX 8, landed in Manchester at 10.30am. It’s understood engineers will now inspect the aircraft for damage.

Passengers were transferred to another plane to continue their journey.

A TUI spokesperson said: “We’d like to apologise to customers on flight TOM800 which diverted to Manchester Airport as a precaution following a bird strike.

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“Another TUI aircraft was sourced and the flight has now departed Manchester Airport and is on route to Sal, Cape Verde. We’d like to thank customers for their patience and understanding, and hope they enjoy their holiday.”