Stranded In Russia, 232 Air India Passengers Wait For Replacement Aircraft

Air India Passengers Stranded In Russia
Air India Passengers Stranded In Russia

The Civil Aviation Ministry announced today that a relief aircraft will depart Mumbai at 1 pm for Russia’s Magadan to take stranded Air India passengers to San Francisco. On Tuesday, an Air India flight headed to San Francisco from New Delhi was diverted to Magadan due to engine problems.

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Air India officials are working through regulatory issues to operate a replacement aircraft bound for Russia’s Magadan on Wednesday to fly out stranded passengers.

According to NDTV, several Air India passengers stranded in remote Magadan, over 10,000 km from Moscow, are being housed in dormitories since hotels in the area are unable to accommodate them all.

In a statement today, the Civil Aviation Ministry said it is closely monitoring developments in the remote Russian city.

According to a statement from the ministry, Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia is closely monitoring the situation. The ministry is in touch with the airline.

“Air India is sending a relief aircraft B777-200LR VT-ALF as ferry with men and material on board for recovery of VT-ALH. It is tentatively scheduled that VT-ALF will depart at 1 pm IST today from Mumbai to take passengers from Magadan to San Francisco International Airport.

According to Air India, they are taking care of passengers – local government is helping with accommodation. Passengers are being moved to a school close to the airport. The Indian embassy has also been contacted to provide food and essentials.”

The carrier’s flights into the US West Coast while flying across the Pacific Ocean give it a huge advantage over other airlines that cannot operate over Russian airspace at present. Air India is aware that this comes with its own set of challenges.

Air India management knows that emergency landings in remote Russian airports with upwards of 200 passengers aboard its Boeing 777-200LR aircraft could prove problematic – available infrastructure on the ground is a big concern.

In the meantime, the United States said it was closely monitoring the situation.

We are aware of a US-bound flight that had to make an emergency landing in Russia. I am unable to confirm how many US citizens are aboard the flight at this time,” Vedant Patel, Deputy Spokesperson for the State Department, told reporters.

It was a flight destined for the United States. Therefore, it is likely that there are American citizens on board. According to public reports, Air India will send – what I understand – a replacement aircraft to the destination so that passengers can carry on for their journey, but I’d leave any further discussion to the air carrier,” Mr Patel said.

There were 216 passengers and 16 crew members on board the Air India plane.