Irish flight to China for vital supplies forced to turn back 

Irish flight to China for vital supplies forced to turn back 
Cargo loaded on seats and in 'overhead lockers' on a previous flight. 

A flight from Dublin to China that was due to collect medical supplies has had to turn around following a bird strike.

Aer Lingus flight EI9018 to Beijing returned to Dublin on Monday afternoon.

A spokesman for Aer Lingus said: "EI9108 has returned to Dublin following a bird strike. Upon landing in Dublin it will be assessed by engineers and upon its clearance for travel a new departure time will be ascertained."

The flight was due to collect medical supplies needed for health workers treating Covid-19 patients.

The Chinese Ambassador in Ireland, He Xiangdong, said he and his staff at the embassy are helping to organise the millions of euro worth of protective equipment for healthcare workers in Ireland.

The first of dozens of flights from China carrying consignments of personal protective equipment (PPE) landed in Dublin on Sunday.

Speaking to RTÉ Morning Ireland, Mr He said: "We are helping to co-ordinate between the HSE procurement department and China and we also help to arrange the landing slot for the chartered flight of Aer Lingus.

"The airports in Beijing and Shanghai are terribly busy with all the cargo flights from abroad.

"I think the supply chain in China is under huge pressure. We will do our best for all the world.

"We are the largest supplier of PPE in the world. It means hard work from all the suppliers in the world.

"I think the HSE procurement department is working closely with the supplier in China. We will try and do our best together to make sure all the PPE will abide by the standards."

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