A RYANAIR flight was forced to return to Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA) after a suspected bird strike.

Emergency services including the coastguard were called to LJLA at around 7am today (Wednesday, August 7) following an 'aircraft emergency'.

LJLA confirmed the disruption involved a 6.30am Ryanair flight which had left the airport for Paphos and the disruption was the result of a suspected bird strike.

A spokesman from LJLA said: "It was simply a precautionary measure with an aircraft that had departed earlier and suspected it had suffered a birdstrike so returned to the airport.

"As a part of standard practise in such situations the various emergency services are notified, however the aircraft landed normally without incident and the passengers are due to fly out later this morning."

New Brighton RNLI lifeboat volunteers were also called but were stood down after the aircraft landed safely.

A Ryanair spokeswoman said: "This flight from Liverpool to Paphos (7 Aug) returned to Liverpool airport shortly after take-off due to a minor bird strike.

"In line with procedures, the crew notified ATC and the aircraft landed normally at Liverpool, where it was inspected by Ryanair engineers.

"To minimise delay, customers boarded a replacement aircraft which departed for Paphos following a short delay.”