A pilot informed British tourists that a seagull had hit an aircraft's engine while holding its 'remains' in a plastic bag.

The Thomson flight, which was bound for Tenerife, made an emergency landing at London Gatwick Airport this morning after a seagull flew through the engine of the aircraft as it took off, Daily Mail reports.

Flight TOM6248 had just left Bournemouth airport at 8.21am when the incident took place.

Eric Jackson, a passenger, said the pilot spoke to the passengers about it while holding the "emains of a seagull in a plastic bag".

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He added: "There was a thud on takeoff from the left engine and heavy vibrations it was obvious something had happened.

"3 blades are bent in the engine we are having to change planes. (sic)"

He later added the airline had to change crews and had texted him to offer him £10 compensation for the delay.

A replacement flight left Gatwick at 12.30pm this afternoon and was said to have arrived safely.

Simon Maycock, of New Milton in Hampshire, was also a passenger on the plane with his wife, Stacey.

He praised the cabin crew during the emergency landing.

He said: "We didn't think anything was wrong until the captain made an announcement.

"We were told about the bird strike and that we would be diverting to Gatwick as there are better equipped engineers there.

The TOM6248 flight was filled with Brits heading from Bournemouth to Tenerife. Photo / Eric Jackson Twitter
The TOM6248 flight was filled with Brits heading from Bournemouth to Tenerife. Photo / Eric Jackson Twitter

"The first we knew it was an emergency landing was when we saw all the emergency service vehicles.

"I would like to highly commend the captain and crew of the flight who were outstanding and kept our delay to a minimum.

"We were giving a voucher for refreshments at Gatwick and a complimentary drink on the next plane. We have now arrived safely and met with my family."

The aircraft made an emergency landing at London Gatwick, where passengers were told to swap planes. Photo / Eric Jackson Twitter
The aircraft made an emergency landing at London Gatwick, where passengers were told to swap planes. Photo / Eric Jackson Twitter

A spokesperson from Thomson Airways apologised for the delay caused to passengers on board flight TOM6248 from Bournemouth to Tenerife, according to The Mirror.

She said: "The aircraft has diverted to London Gatwick as a precautionary measure following a suspected bird strike.

"The plane landed safely and we are working to make sure that customers will be on their way to Tenerife as soon as possible.

"The safety of our passengers and crew is of paramount importance and we would like to reassure customers that issues of this nature are very rare."