The birds were believed to have struck the KL-bound Airbus A330's starboard engine. (Photo from Eric Lim's Facebook page)

KUALA LUMPUR: A suspected bird strike to the engine was what led to AirAsia X Flight D7 207 having to divert from Gold Coast, Australia to Brisbane earlier tonight.

In a statement, the airline said the incident occurred after takeoff at Gold Coast Airport at 10.20pm local time.

The birds were believed to have struck the KL-bound Airbus A330's starboard engine.

Two bird remains were found on the runway.

The flight with 345 passengers and 14 crew was diverted to Brisbane and landed safely at 11.33pm.

AirAsia X CEO Benyamin Ismail said the airline is following all regulatory guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of its guests, who are currently being attended to by its ground staff.

"We would like to commend our pilot and crew members for their professionalism and swift action to reassure passengers who were on board flight D7 207 and to land the aircraft safely in Brisbane airport.

"AirAsia X will arrange for a special flight to transport all guests on Flight D7 207 to Kuala Lumpur as soon as possible," he said.

The incident was earlier related by one of the flight's passengers, Eric Lim, via his Facebook account.

Lim claimed the aircraft's right engine encountered problems right after takeoff.

"Successive sparks boom boom boom went off and people were crying and screaming.

"We are all safe awaiting further updates," he wrote.

Lim also posted a 15-second video showing the aircraft at the airport after it had landed.

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