Stranded Air India pax forced to sleep on school floor in Magadan, Russia: video

Air India passengers were forced to sleep at a school in Russia following a diversion to Magadan
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Video footage has surface on Twitter showing stranded Air India passengers forced to sleep on the floor of a school after their flight was diverted to Magadan in Siberia, Russia. 

The Air India flight from Delhi, India, to San Francisco, United States, was forced to divert to Magadan on June 6, 2023, where insufficient hotel accommodation resulted in passengers being put up in the makeshift accommodation 

According to a statement released by Air India, flight AI173, operating between Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) landed safely at GDX following a “technical issue en route with one of its engines”. The Indian airline has been engaged with local authorities ever since the Boeing 777-200LR landed at the remote airport. 

“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,” the Air India statement continued.  

However, since Air India does not have any support staff in the country, the airline has been working with the Consulate General of India in Vladivostok, Russia, the Ministry of External Affairs of India, local ground handlers and authorities. 

The Indian carrier will send an aircraft on a ferry flight on June 7, 2023, pending regulatory approval, taking passengers and the crew onward to SFO.  

“The ferry flight would be carrying food and other essentials for our passengers,” Air India added.  

“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,” the airline concluded.  

According to a separate statement by Air India, the ferry flight is scheduled to depart “soon” from Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM).

Flight AI195 has taken off from BOM at 3:21 PM local time (UTC +5:30), with another Boeing 777-200LR, registered as VT-ALF, heading towards GDX.

The Boeing 777-200LR, registered as VT-ALH was forced to divert to Magadan Sokol Airport (GDX) due to an engine issue. The aircraft departed DEL at 4:23 AM local time (UTC +5:30) and was scheduled to arrive at SFO at 7:00 AM local time (UTC -7). 

Air India’s crew did not squawk 7700, the general code for emergencies onboard an aircraft, prior to landing at GDX. 

UPDATE June 7, 2022, 1:10 PM (UTC +3): The article was updated with information about the Air India ferry flight from BOM to GDX.

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