Investigation started into Virgin Atlantic-BA wings clip incident at Heathrow

A Virgin Atlantic aircraft was taken out of service after clipping the wingtip of another while being towed at Heathrow.

The empty Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 was being moved from a stand at Terminal 3 when it struck a British Airways Airbus A350 with 121 passengers on board.

There were no injuries and in the incident on Saturday, which saw minor damage caused to both aircraft.

The BA flight had been scheduled to depart to Accra in Ghana at 12.40pm. An alternative aircraft was provided with the service rescheduled to take off at 6pm.

A video aired on social media showed minor damage to both aircraft and emergency services and ground crew on the taxiway.

No passengers were on board the B787 that was being towed.

The aircraft was taken out of service for maintenance checks.

“We’ve commenced a full and thorough investigation,” a Virgin Atlantic spokesperson told national media. 

“The safety of our customers and crew is always our top priority.”

The tow movement was provided by a ground-handling company under contract by Virgin Atlantic, they said.

A BA spokesperson said its aircraft was stationery when the collision happened.

“Our aircraft is being assessed by our engineering teams and we have provided an alternative aircraft to limit the impact on our customers,” they told Sky News.

The collision was unrelated the impact of high winds from Storm Kathleen which forced 140 flights from UK airports to be cancelled together with disruption to ferries between Scotland and Northern Ireland over the weekend.

Yellow Met Office warnings of strong winds which may cause further disruption are in place for southwest England from 6pm tonight (Monday) until 6am the following morning; from 1am until 3pm on Tuesday for northwest England and Wales; and from 1am until midday tomorrow in London and the southeast. A yellow warning of heavy rain is also in place for parts of Scotland between 1am and 6pm on Tuesday.

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