Passengers reach China after 3-day layover in Siberia
MOSCOW (AP) — More than 250 airline passengers who endured an unexpected three-day layover in Russia’s Siberia region have finally made it to their destination in China.
The extended travel delay began Sunday when an Air France flight from Paris to Shanghai made an emergency landing in the eastern Siberia city of Irkutsk after a smoke smell appeared in the cockpit.
The 264 passengers and 18 crew members were taken to hotels, but many weren’t dressed for the minus-15 degrees Celsius (5 F) weather. In any case, they couldn’t leave the hotels because they were without Russian visas.
The China-bound travelers boarded a replacement plane on Tuesday, but it couldn’t take off because of problems in the hydraulic system.
A second replacement plane got them to Shanghai on Wednesday.
Air France said in a statement that it “regrets this exceptional situation.” The company apologized to the passengers and said they will be offered compensation.