Fill-in Thomson Air 767 leaves for London

SANFORD, Fla., April 21 (UPI) -- A plane carrying some 250 passengers left suburban Orlando, Fla., for London Thursday, a day after a similar plane returned after hitting a bird during takeoff.

The Thomson Airways twin-engine Boeing 767 took off from Orlando-Sanford International Airport at 4:08 p.m. and was scheduled to land at London Gatwick Airport at 5:20 a.m. Friday, an airline representative told United Press International.


Flight 33, with 269 people on board, turned around unexpectedly Wednesday evening after the pilot heard and felt a bird strike in the left engine, landing safely after flying only 7 miles, airport officials said.

The bird's carcass was retrieved and would be analyzed to determine its species.

Diane Crews, the airport's vice president of administration, told UPI Thursday she knew of no passenger cancellations on the replacement flight.

Passengers stayed in a hotel overnight.

The Thomson customer service representative told UPI the replacement plane flew in from London. Both jets were midsize, wide-body Boeing 767s, he said.

The 767 is the most widely used airliner for trans-Atlantic flights between the United States and Europe.

Thomson Airways, the world's largest charter airline, offers scheduled and charter flights from England to cities across Europe, Africa, Asia and North America. It carried 11 million passengers last year, making it Britain's No. 3 airline by passenger count, after EasyJet and British Airways.


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