An Air Malta aircraft operating flight KM183 from London Southend to Malta on Saturday suffered a possible bird strike during takeoff.

The captain rejected the takeoff and the aircraft was taken back to its stand for further checks by engineers.

All passengers are safe and are being taken care of, Air Malta said on Facebook.

The airline said rejected takeoffs are a normal safety procedure in such situations.

Air Malta apologised for this inconvenience to passengers due to circumstances beyond its control and said safety for its customers and crew remained its top priority.

In July, an Air Malta aircraft was grounded and sent for repairs after pilots inspecting it before takeoff noticed a bird had dented one of its wings. 

Birdstrikes, as they are known in the aviation industry, can cause significant damage to aircraft engines, cockpits, wings or rudders. They most commonly occur when planes are taking off or landing.

A total of 48 birdstrikes were recorded at MIA in 2017. The average number of bird strikes between 2014 and 2016 was 33 a year.