14 Jan 2020 18:27

Ukraine International Airlines not planning to resume flights to Iran

KYIV. Jan 14 (Interfax) - Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) is not planning to resume flights to Iran, UIA president Yevhen Dykhne said in an interview with the internet portal LB.UA.

Resumption of flights to Tehran "is not even being considered" currently, Dykhne said. "Iran is closed for us at present," he said.

Additionally, the airline is planning to give up flights to Bangkok, because they are incurring losses due to the need to fly around the Persian Gulf. According to Dykhne, flights to Dubai are in doubt, as well. The UIA will be able to resume flights to Beijing only if it returns to its initial route, which does not envisage flying around immense territories.

A UIA Boeing 737-800 en route from Kyiv to Tehran crashed right after takeoff from the airport in Tehran on January 8. All 176 people on board were killed; among the victims were citizens of Iran, Ukraine, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, and Afghanistan.

In the early hours of January 11, Iranian media said that the plane had been shot down by the Iranian military by mistake. Later, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said that the aircraft was downed after an air defense operator confused it with a cruise missile and failed to contact his commanders, therefore making the incorrect decision to fire a missile at the plane.