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An Air India ferry flight left for Russia’s Magadan airport from Mumbai on Wednesday night IST, and is scheduled to reach its destination on Thursday morning IST. The ferry flight is to take the stranded passengers and crew of AI173 onward to San Francisco, an airlines spokesperson said.
“The ferry flight would be carrying food and other essentials for our passengers. 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,” said the airline in a statement issued on Wednesday.
“As we do not have any Air India staff based in the remote town of Magadan or in Russia, all ground support being provided to the passengers is the best possible in this unusual circumstance through our round the clock liaison with the Consulate General of India in Vladivostok, Ministry of External Affairs (Government of India), local ground handlers, and the Russian authorities,” it added.
Earlier, on June 6)Air India flight AI173, from Delhi to San Francisco, was forced to divert and make an emergency landing at Magadan airport in Russia due to a technical issue with one of its engines, officials said.
The flight, carrying 216 passengers and 16 crew members, encountered the problem mid-flight, prompting the pilot to take immediate action to ensure the safety of all onboard.
Air India officials assured the passengers that alternative travel arrangements would be made to ensure they reach their destinations as soon as possible.
“The aircraft is undergoing the mandatory checks on ground. We sincerely regret the inconvenience caused to the passengers,” said the airline’s spokesperson.
Meanwhile, video footage has surfaced on Twitter showing stranded Air India passengers forced to sleep on the floor of a school after their San Francisco-bound flight was diverted to Magadan in Russia due to a technical snag.
India’s Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia said that the alternative flight was dispatched for the Magadan airport from Mumbai.
“Once the flight reaches, the passengers will be flown to their destination which is San Francisco,” he said.
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