Stuck in Siberia: Air France passengers stranded in Russia for three days after plane starts smoking

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 (local time) 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.

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The Siberian Adventure to Remember… #LostInIrkutsk

A post shared by Corinne Lee (@corinneinparis) on

The Siberian Adventure to Remember… #LostInIrkutsk

A post shared by Corinne Lee (@corinneinparis) on

The 264 passengers and 18 crew members were taken to hotels, but many weren’t dressed for the minus-15 degrees Celsius weather. In any case, they couldn’t leave the hotels because they were without Russian visas.

Among the stranded passengers were employees of fashion house Louis Vuitton, who were on their way to China for the opening of the “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez” exhibition at the Shanghai Exhibition Center, WWD reported.

Corinne Lee and Agnès Le Coroller, both members of the French luxury house’s social media team, posted pictures of their Siberian adventure on Instagram.

Большое спасибо Иркутск ❤️ Bons baisers de Russie ??? #LostInIrkutsk #StuckInSiberia

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The employees provided constant updates through their Instagram stories, pretending to be in an imaginary TV series called “Stuck in Siberia” – passing the time at the hotel’s London-themed pub and drinking French wine in a Chinese restaurant.

The China-bound travellers 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 apologised to the passengers and said they will be offered compensation.

– with AP

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