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Stranded BA passengers leave Siberia for Beijing

The passengers and crew of a British Airways flight from London to Beijing who were stranded in Russia for over a day after an emergency landing have travelled on to China in a new plane, airport officials said Thursday.

"They will be brought to their final destination, Beijing, on a reserve British Airways plane that was brought in from London Heathrow (airport)," the Irkutsk airport said in a statement.

On Wednesday, the 270 passengers and 16 crew were taken to hotels in the Siberian city of Irkutsk after the Boeing 747 encountered technical problems linked to its navigational systems en route.

British Airways sent another Boeing 747 from London to take the stranded passengers from Irkutsk. That plane arrived Thursday afternoon and departed a few hours later with the passengers for Beijing, the airport said.

It brought two engineers and a company representative to Irkutsk to decide what to do with the original plane, which is still on the tarmac at Irkutsk airport.

The faulty airliner "will remain in Irkutsk until a decision is made regarding its technical state," the airport said, adding that the "plane's navigational system had failed".