AirAsia X
Officials inspect an engine of Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia X Flight D7 207 after it was diverted and forced to land at Brisbane Airport AAP/Darren England/via REUTERS

An AirAsia X flight bound for Kuala Lumpur was forced to divert after takeoff from the Gold Coast following a suspected bird strike on Monday (3 July), before eventually landing in Brisbane.

The passengers in Flight D7 207, which took off at 10:20pm (1:20pm BST) from the Gold Coast, reported hearing "bangs" and seeing sparks coming from an engine before the plane was diverted.

Tim Joga, 31, told the Sydney Morning Herald that he heard about "four or five bangs" coming from the right-side before noticing flames coming out of the engine on that side.

Another passenger on board, Eric Lim, wrote on Facebook, "Successive sparks boom boom boom went off and some people were crying and calling out 'oh my god oh my god.'"

He also posted a video on Facebook saying, "It was very crazy incident ."

"Two bird remains were found on the runway," the low-cost carrier said in a statement adding that the starboard engine had experienced a "suspected bird strike."

Benyamin Ismail, AirAsia X chief executive, said the pilot and crew took "swift action" to reassure passengers during the incident.

The Malaysian carrier said that the flight was carrying 345 passengers and 14 crew members and also added that it was arranging a special flight to take the passengers to Kuala Lumpur.

Last week, another AirAsia flight, this time from Perth to Kuala Lumpur, experienced technical issues after about 90 minutes into its journey. It was forced to turn back to Perth, with one passenger saying the plane "shook like a washing machine."

Earlier this month, a China Eastern Airlines flight had to return to Sydney after facing a mid-air emergency which involved a massive hole in its engine casing.