Air India sends alternate plane for stranded passengers in Russia - GulfToday

Air India sends alternate plane for stranded passengers in Russia


Picture used for illustrative purpose only.

Union Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia said that an alternate flight was dispatched for the Magadan airport from Mumbai and it would take six hours to reach there.

"Once the flight reaches, the passengers will be flown to their destination which is San Francisco," he said.

The jet from New Delhi to San Francisco had to land in eastern Russia with an engine problem.

The flight with 216 passengers and 16 crew was diverted to Magadan on Russia's eastern coast, over 5,900 kilometres (3,670 miles) from Moscow on Tuesday night.


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With "infrastructural limitations around the remote airport," passengers were put up in "makeshift accommodation" in the town, Air India said in a statement.

"Our ferry flight AI195 from Mumbai to Magadan, Russia is now airborne," Air India said in a statement, noting it was expected to arrive at 6:30am on Thursday (1930 GMT Wednesday).

"The aircraft operating the ferry flight will take all passengers and crew onward to San Francisco," it added.

It gave no details on if there were US citizens in Magadan.

Speaking to reporters in Washington, State Department principal deputy spokesman Vedant Patel said the United States was monitoring the situation closely.

"I am not able to confirm how many US citizens were aboard the flight at this time," he said.

"It was a flight that was bound for the United States, so it is of course likely that there are American citizens on board."

Russia's aviation authority said it was ready to give the airline permission to land an additional reserve aircraft if needed.

Russia has barred US airlines and other foreign carriers from using its airspace, in retaliation for Washington banning Russian flights over the US in March 2022 after Moscow sent troops into Ukraine.

However, Air India and some Gulf-based, Chinese and African carriers continue to fly over Russia, making flying times shorter and American rivals uncompetitive.

In February, US senators urged the Biden administration to halt Chinese airlines and other non-American carriers from flying over Russia on US routes.





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