A United Airlines passenger jet takes off with New York City as a backdrop
United Airlines is a major American airline headquartered at the Willis Tower in Chicago | Photo: AFP Reuters

A United Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing due to a cracked windshield. The flight was travelling from Las Vegas to Washington DC on Sunday when the incident happened, according to reports in local media.

United Airlines Flight 1627 departed from Nevada's Harry Reid International Airport and was scheduled to arrive at the Dulles International Airport in Northern Virginia, 26 miles west of downtown Washington, D.C. But the jet was then diverted to the Denver International Airport in Colorado, according to a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The flight landed safely at around 1:10 PM local time, as per the FAA. The organisation also added that "cracks happen across all airplane models", and generally, when they occur, they happen in the "glass pane on the outside, which serves as a protective covering for the inner structural portion."

The FAA also stated that the windshield included multiple layers of tempered glass and other materials.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for United Airlines told The Independent that the plane was diverted due to a "maintenance issue".

"After safely landing, customers deplaned normally and a plane change occurred. The flight departed Denver around 3 p.m. MT to Dulles," said United Airlines.

Flight 1627 had 166 passengers and seven crew members on board. Upon landing in Denver, they were transferred to a Boeing 737-900 to Dulles, United Airlines said.

The diverted aircraft was a United Airlines Boeing 737-800 - different to the Boeing 737 Max 9 model, which recently made headlines for a terrifying incident. One of its planes, used for an Alaska Airlines flight, had a door plug blowout mid-flight. The incident happened when the flight, travelling from Portland, Oregon to Ontario, California, was around 16,000 feet in the air.

Over the last few months, quite a few safety issues have been reported in the airline industry. Just earlier this month, a United Airlines flight from Florida was forced to make an emergency landing after an open door indicator light illuminated mid-air.

The incident happened on Wednesday (Jan. 10) after United Flight 2434, heading to Chicago, took off from Sarasota, Florida and the light came on. That forced pilots to alert dispatchers and reroute the plane to the next closest airport, which was in Tampa.

An American Airlines aircraft slid off a runway into a grassy area after landing during snowy weather in the state of New York on Jan. 18. The incident happened with American Airlines' Flight Embraer E145 at Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport. The flight, carrying 53 passengers and three crew members, had just landed and was being taxied to the terminal around 4 PM when it slipped.