A San Francisco-bound Air India flight AI173 from Delhi was diverted and bound to make an emergency landing at Magadan airport in Russia on Tuesday due to a glitch in one of its engines, said the Tata Group-owned Air India.
"Air India flight AI173 of June 6, operating Delhi-San Francisco has developed a technical issue with one of its engines. The flight, carrying 216 passengers and 16 crew, was diverted and landed safely in Magadan airport in Russia," Air India said in the statement.
According to media reports, the airplane faced the problem mid-flight, making the pilot take immediate action to ensure the safety of all onboard.
"The passengers are being provided all support on the ground and will be provided alternate options to reach their destinations at the earliest. The aircraft is undergoing mandatory checks on the ground. We sincerely regret the inconvenience caused to the passengers," added Air India.
The diversion of Air India's Boeing 777 aircraft comes a day after the chief of United Airlines 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 US citizens on board? That is a potential crisis in the making. I think we should solve it before the crisis happens," said Scott Kirby, CEO, United Airlines, on Monday.
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Russia has banned US airlines and other foreign carriers from using its airspace, in revenge for Washington banning Russian flights over the US 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.