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Venice airport closed, flights diverted by flock of seagulls

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    1 day ago

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Venice airport was closed for more than an hour and flights were diverted on Friday due to the presence of a flock of seagulls.

Marco Polo Airport in the north-eastern Italian city closed at 09:45 local time (07:45 GMT).

Flights were diverted to Treviso, Verona, Trieste and Milan before normal operations resumed at 11:20.

Bird strikes at airports are most common during take-off and landing, and can cause damage to aircraft.


Marco Polo Airport apologised to passengers who were affected by the disruption.

Ten flights due to depart between 09:40 and 12:15 on Friday were cancelled, according to the airport’s website, while several others were delayed.

Four arrival flights were also cancelled in the morning, with many delayed and others diverted to alternative airports.

More than nine million passengers used Venice airport last year, and almost 8,000 flights transited through the hub last month.

In the city itself, seagulls are a common sight and Venice hoteliers came up with a novel way of attempting to fend off the birds from tourists last year.

Some hotels left orange water pistols in rooms for tourists to use to scare off the birds.

Paolo Lorenzini, director of the Gritti Hotel, told Italian media: “As soon as they see the pistols, they fly away.

“You don’t even need to use them, you just need to keep them on the table.”

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