Air India flight diverted to Russia due to engine issue, passengers stranded

An Air India flight en route from New Delhi to San Francisco was forced to make an unscheduled landing in Russia’s Far East port town of Magadan due to engine issues. The airline has stated that a reserve plane will be dispatched from Mumbai to transport the affected passengers.

The Boeing 777 aircraft, carrying 216 passengers and 16 crew members, safely landed at Magadan airport on Tuesday after experiencing a technical problem with one of its engines. Air India is conducting safety checks on the aircraft, and passengers are receiving support on the ground.

US State Department spokesman Vedant Patel noted that American citizens were likely on the flight, but the exact number could not be immediately confirmed. He added, “We are continuing to monitor the situation.”

Girvaan Kaahma, 16 years old, who was travelling with his uncle and brother, revealed that they were not allowed to leave their Magadan hostel and were unable to use their credit cards for vending machine purchases due to sanctions over Russia’s war in Ukraine. Kaahma stated that the passengers were informed they would likely depart Russia for the United States on Thursday.

The incident occurred just a day after United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby expressed concerns about the safety of airlines flying through Russian airspace with American citizens on board. He warned of a potential crisis if an airline were to land in Russia with prominent US citizens on board, suggesting that the issue should be resolved before a crisis occurs.

Air India CEO Campbell Wilson defended the airline’s use of Russian airspace during a panel at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) annual meeting on Monday. He emphasised the crucial role the aviation industry plays in connecting economies, people, and cultures, adding that Air India operates within the parameters set by the Indian government.

Following the US’s ban on Russian flights in March 2022, Russia has retaliated by barring US airlines and other foreign carriers from using its airspace. Despite this, Air India, along with some Gulf-based, Chinese, and African carriers, continues to fly over Russia, giving them a competitive edge over US rivals by shortening flying times.

World News


Sara is a journalist and content writer who specializes in lifestyle, wellness, and travel topics. Sara's journey in journalism began as a copywriter, and over time, her portfolio expanded to include articles and features for some of the nation's top lifestyle publications. Outside the office, she enjoys practising yoga and exploring hidden locations in Bangkok.

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