Air India plane from Delhi to San Francisco lands in Russia after technical issue

FILE PHOTO: A bird flies over a logo of Air India airlines at the corporate headquarters in Mumbai, India, October 19, 2021. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - An Air India plane flying from Delhi to San Francisco was forced to divert and land at an airfield in Russia's Far East after it developed a technical issue with one of its engines, the airline said on Tuesday.

The 216 passengers onboard are being offered support on the ground and will be provided with alternative options to reach their destinations at the earliest opportunity, Air India said, adding the plane also carried a crew of 16.

Russia's aviation authority said it was checking on the plane's technical condition after landing at Magadan airport and was ready to give the airline permission to land an additional reserve aircraft if needed.

"At present, the question of passengers' stay and accommodation is being resolved by border, customs and regional authorities," Rosaviatsia said.

The airport at Magadan, a port town on the Sea of Okhotsk in Russia's Far East, did not respond to a request for comment.

The diversion of the Boeing 777 widebody aircraft comes a day after the chief of the world's largest carrier raised safety concerns about airlines flying through Russian airspace with American citizens onboard.

"What's going to happen if an airline lands in Russia with some prominent U.S. citizens on board? That is a potential crisis in the making," Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines said on Monday.

"I think we should solve it before the crisis happens."

Air India said it could not share any passenger details.

Russia has barred U.S. airlines and other foreign carriers from using its airspace in retaliation for Washington banning Russian flights over the United States in March 2022 after Moscow sent troops into Ukraine.

However, Air India and some Gulf-based, Chinese and African carriers continue to fly over Russia, making flying times shorter and American rivals uncompetitive.

In February, U.S. senators urged the Biden administration to halt Chinese airlines and other non-American carriers from flying over Russia on U.S. routes.

Reuters reported last week that Chinese airlines are avoiding flying over Russian airspace in four newly approved flights to and from the United States.

The White House and GE, which makes the engines for the Boeing 777, had no immediate comment.

(Reporting by Aditi Shah, Tim Hepher and Joanna Plucinska in ISTANBUL, David Shepardson in DC, Alexnader Marrow and Gleb Stolyarov; Editing by Jason Neely, Mark Potter, Emelia Sithole-Matarise and David Evans)

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In World

Factbox-Migrant repatriations from Italy likely to be limited and costly
Asylum seekers in Italy told to pay to avoid detention
Somalia asks UN to delay peacekeeper drawdown after 'significant setbacks'
Turkish police detain 10 accused of Islamic State links, minister says
US pledges new aid for Haiti, urges U.N. to authorize security mission
Montenegro charges six over tunnel dug from apartment to court storeroom
EU to disburse $135 million to Tunisia as part of migration pact
Exclusive-At least 40% of Colombia's ELN rebels seen rejecting peace deal-security sources
Gunmen in Nigeria kidnap 35 from university in northwest Zamfara state
French far-right leader Le Pen should stand trial for alleged misuse of EU funds - Prosecutor

Others Also Read