A passenger plane bound for Brisbane has been forced to make an emergency landing at Melbourne airport after it hit a large bird, believed to be an eagle.
Virgin Australia flight VA319 made the emergency landing at 9.45am on Friday after the pilot decided to turn back, suspecting the plane hit a bird mid-flight.
"Upon suspecting a bird strike, the pilot decided to return to Melbourne ... and the aircraft landed safely," Virgin Australia said in a statement.
"We are working to have all affected passengers on their way to Brisbane as soon as possible."
The east-west runway, from which the plane took off, was temporarily closed while Melbourne Airport staff inspected it for debris.
The runway has since reopened but delays are expected, a Melbourne Airport spokeswoman said.
There have been no reported injuries and all passengers have left the plane.