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US 'closely monitoring' AI flight that landed in Russia

By Lalit K Jha
Last updated on: June 07, 2023 17:21 IST
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The United States has said that it is "closely monitoring" the situation after a San Francisco-bound Air India flight made an emergency landing in Russia's remote town of Magadan.

Photograph: Kind Courtesy Air India on Facebook

Flight AI173 from Delhi was diverted to Magadan in Russia on Tuesday owing to an engine glitch, the Tata Group-owned private carrier said in a statement last evening.    

The Boeing 777-200 LR aircraft, carrying 216 passengers and 16 crew, landed safely.


"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. I'm not able to confirm how many US citizens were aboard the flight at this time," US state department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel told reporters at his daily news conference on Tuesday.

"It was a flight that was bound for the US. So, it is, of course, likely that there are American citizens on board. There's public reporting from Air India that they are sending -- what my understanding is -- a replacement aircraft to the destination to have the passengers carry on for their route, but I would defer to the air carrier to speak to anything further on this," Patel said in response to a question.

When asked if the US would allow the export of parts for the repair of the Boeing aircraft that may need exemptions in view of the various embargoes and sanctions on Russia, the spokesman said, "I'm just not going to speculate on that here. And of course, we'll let Air India speak to any steps that they're taking as it relates to mitigating the technical issues."

Air India on Wednesday sent a ferry flight - carrying food and other essentials -- to Magadan to fly the passengers bound for San Francisco, who are currently stranded.

The airline said the aircraft operating the ferry flight will take all passengers and crew onward to San Francisco on June 8.

It said that a team from the airline is also on board the flight to provide any support that the passengers and staff at Magadan may require.

Magadan is located on the shores of the Sea of Okhotsk in northeastern Russia and falls under the administrative centre of Magadan Oblast. The port town is about 10,167 km from Moscow. It takes around 7 hours and 37 minutes to reach Magadan from Moscow by air.

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Lalit K Jha
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