Austrian Airlines plane badly damaged after being battered by hailstones during flight

The Austrian Airlines plane was badly damaged by hailstones (file picture)  (AFP via Getty Images)
The Austrian Airlines plane was badly damaged by hailstones (file picture) (AFP via Getty Images)

An Austrian Airlines plane suffered serious damage midflight when it was struck by hailstones.

The flight was caught in a “thunderstorm cell” as it flew from Majorca to Vienna on Sunday.

It was carrying 173 passengers and six crew members.

The airline said a mayday emergency call was made during the flight.

The plane landed safely in the Austrian capital. Pictures showed serious damage to its nose while two cockpit windows were smashed.

In a statement to CNN, Austrian Airlines said: “Airbus A320 aircraft was damaged by hail on yesterday’s flight OS434 from Palma de Mallorca to Vienna. The aircraft was caught in a thunderstorm cell on approach to Vienna, which according to the cockpit crew was not visible on the weather radar.”

It comes a month after a British passenger died and dozens more were injured when a Singapore Airlines flight hit extreme turbulence.

The Boeing 777 jet carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew from London to Singapore ran into sudden turbulence over the Irrawaddy basin in Myanmar on May 20, hurling people and items around the cabin. The plane diverted to Thailand.

Geoff Kitchen, 73, died of a suspected heart attack and dozens were taken to hospital including those with spinal, brain and bone or organ injuries.

The Airline on Tuesday said it has offered $10,000 (£7,850) in compensation for passengers with minor injuries.

“For those who sustained more serious injuries from the incident, we have invited them to discuss a compensation offer to meet each of their specific circumstances when they feel well and ready to do so,” it said in a statement.

Those medically assessed to have sustained serious injuries, requiring long-term medical care and requesting financial assistance will receive an advance payment of 25,000 dollars (£19,620) for their immediate needs, it said.