A flight from São Tomé e Príncipe to Lisbon carrying 103 passengers had to return to the island shortly after take-off and was ultimately cancelled due to a bird strike which caused damage to one of the engines.
According to aviation website Aviation Herald, “a White Airbus A310-300, performing flight TP-254 from São Tomé (São Tomé and Príncipe) to Lisbon (Portugal) on 27 December, on behalf of TAP Air Portugal, was in the initial climb out of São Tomé when an engine ingested a bird prompting the crew to stop the climb and return to São Tomé for a safe landing.
“The flight was cancelled due to the damage to the engine but the aircraft was able to return to Portugal the following day.”
São Tomé and Príncipe is a Portuguese-speaking island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western equatorial coast of Central Africa.
The runway at São Tomé is described by industry insiders as not for the faint-hearted, being short with high elevation on one end and the open sea at the other.
Founded in 2005 White Airways, S.A. is based in Oeiras, Portugal, and operates leisure charter flights out of Lisbon’s Portela Airport.
It is a Portuguese company that is licensed and certified according to the national and European standards for the scheduled and non-scheduled air transport of passengers and cargo.
In 2012 the airline obtained a license to operate scheduled flights, allowing the possibility to sell directly to the public.