Air India 777 to San Francisco diverts with engine issues

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Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
3 Min Read

An Air India flight operating from New Delhi to San Francisco has made an unscheduled diversion to Magadan in Russia earlier today.

Air India flight AI173, operated by a Boeing 777-200LR was on a scheduled flight from Delhi Indira Ghandi International Airport (DEL) to San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

The aircraft subsequently made an unscheduled diversion and landed at Magadan Sokol Airport (GDX) in Russia.

Flight plan showing Air India flight bound for San Francisco diversion to Magadan, Russia.

The nature of the problem has not yet been confirmed, though it is understood that the diversion decision was attributed to ‘technical problems’

The aircraft in question is Air India Boeing 777-200ER registered VT-ALH, a 13-year-old airframe.

Above: Air India Boeing 777-237LR VT-ALH. Photo Credit: ken H from Yokohama, Kanagawa-ken, Japan, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


The aircraft is currently on the ground at Magadan. In responding to an enquiry on social media, Air India has stated: “Flight AI173 is diverted due to unavoidable reasons and our team is working diligently to minimize the inconvenience caused.”


An Air India spokesman has confirmed that the cause of today’s diversion was a technical issue with one of the aircraft’s engines. The Boeing 777 is currently undergoing mandatory ground checks at Magadan.

Flight AI173 was carrying 216 passengers and a complement of 16 crew, and the airline advises that passengers will be provided with alternative options to reach their destination at the earliest convenience.

Magadan Sokol Airport

Sokol Airport, formally Vladimir Vysotsky International Airport, is an airport in Sokol in Magadan Oblast, Russia. The airport is located 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of the Magadan city center.

The airport is sometimes confused with Dolinsk-Sokol air base in Sakhalin Island, which was home to the fighters that shot down Korean Air Flight 007 in 1983.

GDX has been served by a number of airlines, including Aeroflot, S7 Airlines, and Ural Airlines. There are direct flights to Moscow, St. Petersburg, and a number of other cities in Russia. It also hosts a number of international flights, including flights to China, South Korea, and Japan.

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