Stranded AI passengers return from Pakistan

New Delhi: Over 120 passengers and crew of an Air India plane from Abu Dhabi that made an emergency landing in Pakistan`s southern Sindh province early today arrived here this evening on a special flight. All the 122 passengers and six members of the crew landed at the IGI airport at around 5 PM in a special flight which was send to Nawabshah airport in Sindh this morning.

The original Air India AI-940 flight was to land in Delhi at 5 AM today but had to make an emergency landing in Nawabshah early this morning after it developed technical problems. The Air India Airbus A320 was sent to pick up the stranded passengers and it took off from Nawabshah airport shortly after 3 pm Pakistan time.

The plane which developed technical problems also flew back to Delhi at around 6:30 PM after Air India engineers, who went to Pakistan, cleared it for flying. Ashok Tomar, Special Secretary in Ministry of External Affairs, said the flight with the passengers and crew has landed and they received good cooperation from the Pakistani authorities. Indian High Commission in Islamabad was in regular touch with the Pakistani authorities, he said.

When asked about the 12-hour delay, he said that arrangements were being made for ferrying engineers and equipment there. Earlier in the day, the captain of the Air India flight going from Abu Dhabi to New Delhi sought permission for an emergency landing after emergency light showed a problem with the hydraulic system while in Pakistani airspace.

Pakistani authorities had offered to allow the passengers to disembark and use the Nawabshah airport`s lounges, the captain preferred to have them remain on board, officials said. The captain asked for drinking water and this was supplied to the aircraft, they said.