Negotiations under way to ensure the return of Armenian plane from Iran – Deputy PM

Negotiations are under way to ensure the return of the Armenian plane that landed in Iran, Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan told a Q&A session at the National Assembly.

Speaking about the incident, Avinyan said Fly Armenia Airways had officially applied to obtain a permit for one empty flight from Tallinn, Estonia to Hostomel Airport in Ukraine, bearing full responsibility for the flight, which, he said, does not contradict any norms of international aviation.

“However, the mentioned plane, violating the permission of the flight destination previously agreed, flew to Varna airport, then headed to Sharjah, but eventually landed at Iran’s Mehrabat Airport under unknown circumstances,” said Tigran Avinyan.

The Deputy Prime Minister noted that only the operating airline is responsible for the ground service, the organization of the flight and the process of obtaining permits.

“According to both the pilots and the aviation authorities of the Iranian side, the landing was of a technical nature.  According to preliminary information, there were problems with fuel,” he said.

“Negotiations are under way at the moment so that the plane can return to Yerevan today,” said Deputy Prime Minister Avinyan.

Media reports claimed last month that the Boeing 737 aircraft had been hijacked.

Fly Armenia said the B737-300 (Armenian registration: EK-FAA) leased by the company was undergoing technical maintenance in Tallinn, Republic of Estonia, after which it was to fly to Hostomel Airport in the Republic of Ukraine to continue maintenance.

The plane took off from Tallinn on February 20 and made an emergency landing for unknown reasons, the company said.

The airline said more information will be provided latter.

The Civil Aviation Committee said there were no passengers on the plane, the pilots were foreign nationals.

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