Emirates jet stuck in Mumbai after flying into a whole bunch of flamingos on arrival

Birdstrikes are frequent in the aviation business, and unfortunately, they happen very often in India, given that some of our major airports are within the big cities or in the neighbourhood of the city per se. Most of the time, it is small damage to the aircraft, which can be fixed pretty quickly, but this time, it has grounded a large aircraft (a Boeing 777) in Mumbai. According to data cited by news agency AFP, the Mumbai airport recorded over 600 cases of aircraft bird strikes between January 2018 and October 2023.

a white airplane flying in the sky

Emirates Boeing 777 grounded in Mumbai after a bird strike.

An Emirates flight en route from Dubai to Mumbai struck a flock of flamingos on Monday night (May 20, 2024), killing at least 36 of the protected birds. The incident occurred shortly before landing, as the Boeing 777 aircraft (registered A6-ENT) was descending over the outskirts of Mumbai’s Ghatkopar area. According to reports, the aircraft hit the flock around 300 metres (1,000 ft) from the ground, and the cockpit crew reported the incident once they arrived at the gate and saw the damage.

Flamingos are migratory species that often arrive in Mumbai, usually in November after the monsoon.

The flight, EK 508, carrying over 300 passengers, landed safely at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, and all passengers and crew disembarked without injury. The aircraft was also damaged in the incident, so the return flight EK 509, scheduled to depart to Dubai on May 20, was cancelled. All passengers and crew were accommodated overnight, and a replacement aircraft was arranged for all passengers and they were taken back on May 21, 2024.


An Emirates aircraft flew into a large flock of flamingos, while arriving in Mumbai airport on May 20, 2024. The aircraft was damaged, and the return flight was cancelled. Unfortunately, over 36 flamingos lost their life in this mid-air accident.

What do you make of this incident and the impact of aviation on the environment at Mumbai? 

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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