AI sends flight to rescue stranded passengers at Russia’s Magadan

Delhi-San Francisco flight of Air India, carrying 216 passengers and 16 crew, had to land at Russia’s Magadan airport due to snag in one of its engines

Air India Flight to Magadan

Mumbai: Air India has sent a replacement plane to ferry 216 passengers and 16 crew stranded in Russia’s Magadan after its Delhi-San Francisco flight was forced to land due to engine trouble, the carrier said Wednesday.

Air India flight AI173 developed a ‘technical issue’ with one engine and had to land at the remote Russian town. The rescue plane has taken off from Mumbai to Magadan and is carrying food and other essentials. It is expected to reach Magadan airport at 6.30 am (local time).

Also Read: Air India top brasses showcaused for unauthorised entry in cockpit

“An Air India team are onboard the flight to provide any support that the passengers and staff at GDX (Magadan airport) may require. The ferry flight is carrying essentials in addition to sufficient amount of food to cater to all passengers on onward flight scheduled from GDX to San Francisco (SFO).”

“We are doing best possible in unusual circumstance,” said an Air India official, adding that passengers had to accommodated in makeshift arrangement as local hotels and limited infrastructure at and around the airport in Magadan—which is on Russia’s eastern coast and over 10,000 km from capital Moscow—were unable to cater to them all.

Also Read: Air India launches direct flight between Amritsar & Gatwick

“As we do not have Air India staff based in the remote town of Magadan or in Russia, all ground support being provided to passengers is the best possible in this unusual circumstance…” Air India said. The carrier also said it is working with the Consulate General of India in Vladivostok (around 4,900 km from Magadan), the external affairs ministry, Russian authorities and local officials.

Indian government is monitoring the situation

Ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) said that the Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia is monitoring the situation very closely. “We are in constant touch with the airline,” said a ministry official, adding that they have been told by the AI that some passengers had been housed in a school building near the airport.

Why Air India flight AI173 had to make emergency landing?

The widebody Boeing 777 flight had developed a problem with one of its engines and was therefore forced to land in Magadan. The aircraft is currently undergoing safety checks. The details of the ‘technical issue’ with the engine have not been revealed by the AI.

US government is also monitoring

State department, US, spokesman Vedant Patel said American citizens were likely on the flight but that he could not confirm the number. “It was a flight bound for the US so it is, of course, likely there are American citizens… We are continuing to monitor the situation,” he said.

Passengers face inconvenience

Some news agencies reported that passengers of AI173 are being restricted to move out. Some passengers have complained that they were were being barred from leaving the hostel in which they are staying. “We aren’t able to use our credit cards to buy items from vending machines or stores because of American sanctions over Russia’s war on Ukraine,” said one of the passengers.

Also Read: Air India signs deal with Airbus to acquire 250 modern aircraft

Meanwhile, videos and photographs shared on Twitter show some passengers forced to sleep in mattresses on floors of what appear to be homes or dormitories; one woman said her husband is one of the passengers.

Another tweet was of a 45-second video shared by another passenger showing people gathered in a small school-like building with benches and tables set aside to make room for mattresses spread on the floor.

“Yesterday, Air India flight 173 from Delhi to San Francisco was diverted to Magadan, in rural Russia w(ith) over 220, mostly elderly, passengers. Sat in plane for 6 hours and, after 18 hours now, no word from Air India. Here is a just taken video from a jittery passenger…” the tweet at 10 am Wednesday said.

Previous articlePatna-Ranchi Vande Bharat exp rake reaches Patna, to run soon
Next articleCabinet nod to Metro’s expansion to Cyber City & Dwarka expressway


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here