Air India’s 777 makes emergency landing in Russia, on its way to San Francisco

Air India, which has the largest network of India – US non-stop operations, today has run into a bit of rough weather with their Delhi – San Francisco operation.

Air India 777 makes an emergency landing in Russia.

On Tuesday, Air India’s Delhi-San Francisco (SFO), operating as flight number AI173 using one of the older 777LRs of the airline, VT-ALH, had to divert to Magadan in Russia after the 777’s engine developed a snag while overflying Russia. The aircraft had 232 people on board and diverted 8.5 hours after take off from Delhi.

a map of the world with an airplane

As per a statement from Air India,

The Boeing 777 developed a technical issue. The flight carrying 216 passengers and 16 crew members was diverted and landed safely in Magadan airport in Russia. The passengers are being provided all support on ground and will be provided an alternate option to reach their destination at the earliest. The aircraft is undergoing the mandatory checks on ground.

It seems the aircraft’s snag is not major, although Air India is making provisions for the dispatch of another aircraft from Delhi, which will carry the “men and materials” for the repair of the aircraft. The new aircraft will carry the people to SFO, while the current one will be fixed and brought back to India. Unfortunately, this does not look like an easy fix since the aircraft won’t arrive for at least a day.

Also, per accounts of people on the ground, there are not enough rooms to accommodate people.

The airline operates the Delta-leased 777LRs on the BOM/BLR to USA routes, keeping the three 777LRs from their earlier days to operate on DEL-SFO rotations because the Delta aircraft do not have the extra fittings required to fly over the Hindukush mountains.


Air India has had to divert an aircraft operating a Delhi – San Francisco flight today to Eastern Russia after 8 hours or so in flight. While everyone landed safely, another aircraft will be dispatched shortly to bring them to their destination. Still, the flights will be taking another day before this aircraft arrives, and they can depart from Russia.

What do you make of the current situation?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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