SHEMYA ISLAND, Alaska ̵
The Boeing 767-300ER was on its way to Seattle from Beijing with 194 passengers when it came to a potential engine problem, reports Alaska Public Media.
The plane landed as a precaution on the island of Shemya at the extreme western end of the Aleutian chain. On the island is the Eareckson Air Station, a US Air Force with a 10,000 foot runway and other facilities.
Another delta plane flew to the island to pick up the stranded passengers and bring the rest of the way to Seattle.
The replacement aircraft also carries maintenance technicians, customer service representatives, and a new crew to make the return flight to Seattle, reports APM.
The flight reached the Sea-Tac airport at 22:15. Family and friends of the passengers said they were just glad that the drama was finally over on Christmas Eve.
"I was at the airport this morning at 7 o'clock and there was nothing here. No one could tell me what happened, and I had to go home, "said Jing Cai, whose husband was on the run. "It took me three or four hours to find out that this plane was in Alaska."
Delta apologized for the delay, but said the safety of her customers and crews is always a top priority.