Aer Lingus A330, operating flight EI9018 to collect medical supplies in China, had to land back at its departure airport in Dublin (DUB), Ireland, after experiencing an emergency on takeoff on March 30, 2020. 

Aer Lingus Airbus A330 (registration number EI-DUZ) took off at 12:01 from Dublin airport (DUB), Ireland. The aircraft was scheduled to operate flight EI9018 and arrive in Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK), China, some nine hours later. 

Instead, 40 minutes later the flight landed back in Dublin, after experiencing an emergency.  The aircraft suffered a bird strike upon takeoff. The damage would now be assessed by engineers before a new departure time is assigned, according to an Aer Lingus spokesperson, cited in the Irish Times. 

While the Aer Lingus A330-200 is a passenger aircraft, it was due to operate a cargo flight and bring medical supplies needed for the COVID-19 response from Beijing to Ireland. Aer Lingus operated a first similar flight, also employing an Airbus A330, on March 28, 2020. One more flight took place the following day. 

The airliner currently counts over 12 years of service in the Irish carrier’s fleet.  The wide-body, which carries the name Saint Aoife, was delivered to the airline in June 2007.