An Air India flight from New Delhi to San Francisco was forced to make a diversion due to an issue with one of the aircraft’s engines; the flight has now safely landed in Russia’s Magadan airport, which is located in the country’s far east.

Air India flight diverted to Magadan in Russia

An engine issue caused an earlier Tuesday (June 6) Air India flight from Delhi to San Francisco to be diverted to Magadan in Russia. However, the 216-passenger and 16-crew flight made a safe landing, according to the privately held airline carried out by the Tata Group.

In a statement Wednesday, Air India said a “ferry flight” is scheduled to take off from Mumbai airport at 1300 hours IST and will travel to Magadan to take the passengers to San Francisco subject to “necessary clearances.”

It added: “All of us at Air India are concerned about the passengers and staff and are making every effort possible to operate the ferry flight as soon as possible, and to ensure the health, safety, and security of all while they wait.”

The airline added that assistance is being given to the passengers through “round-the-clock liaison” with the Indian Consulate General in Vladivostok, a city located about 5,000 kilometres (3,100 miles) south of Magadan, as well as with local ground handlers, Russian authorities, and the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.

Many Western countries have been banned by Russia from flying in its airspace, but certain carriers, like Air India, nevertheless do so.

The United States said it was monitoring the situation. “We are aware of a US-bound flight that had to make an emergency landing in Russia, and are continuing to monitor that situation closely,” said State Department Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel.

While Patel could not confirm how many US citizens were on the flight, he said it was “of course likely that there are American citizens on board.”

Patel also said it would be possible if needed for the US to take steps “in assessing manifests and passengers who may be bound for the United States.”

Air India’s CEO defended its use of Russian airspace on Monday, telling an airline summit that “we operate in the accordance within the ambit of what’s provided to us by the nation of India.”

He added: “Not all nations agree. And so there are going to be different outcomes as a consequence. I think we’ve seen over the past few years the consequence of aviation not being able to connect people and economies and cultures and support all of the other things that we spin off.”

While speaking to reporters, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby hinted at the risks of a jet being forced to land in Russia with American citizens on board, as reported by Reuters.


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