NEW DELHI, June 7 (PTI): Union aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Wednesday assured safe return of San Francisco-bound passengers stranded in Russia after an Air India flight made an emergency landing there and said a ferry flight has already departed from India.
Air India flight AI173 with 216 passengers and 16 crew was diverted to Magadan, Russia on Tuesday due to an engine glitch in the Boeing 777-200 LR aircraft.
“We have a Boeing 777-200 that took off at 1 pm…the flying time is around six-and-a-half hours, it will land there and take on board all passengers and fly to San Francisco safely,” Scindia told reporters.
Earlier in the day, Air India had announced that a ferry flight is scheduled to operate to GDX (Magadan) from Mumbai, at 1300 hours IST on Wednesday, subject to necessary regulatory clearances, which would take passengers and crew of AI173 onward to San Francisco.
“The ferry flight would be carrying food and other essentials for the passengers. Given the infrastructural limitations around the remote airport, we can confirm that all passengers were eventually moved to a makeshift accommodation, after making sincere attempts to accommodate passengers in hotels locally with the help of local government authorities,” it said.