Source: ES in Air Transport, Ukraine
Ukraine International Airlines is among largest Boeing 737-800 operators on the post-Soviet territory (UIA)
A Boeing 737-800 operated by Ukraine’s flag carrier Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) crashed in Iran this morning. The airplane was outbound from Teheran airport (IATA: IKA) on a scheduled service to Kyiv’s Boryspil airport (KBP) and crashed shortly after take-off. Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky acknowledged the tragic event in his Facebook account.
The crashed aircraft with tail number UR-PSR joined UIA’s fleet in July 2016. At the time it was the first factory-new aircraft delivered to UIA in four years. The last scheduled maintenance of the aircraft took place on 6 January, 2020, says airline in a statement. The aircraft was owned and leased to the carrier by the US Varangian Leasing LLC. It was configured with 185 seats. 168 passengers had checked in for the flight according to Ukrainian embassy in Iran, attended by nine crew members. None of the persons on board survived the crash, which is the first fatal event in Ukraine International’s 27-year history.
Ukraine’s embassy in Iran attributed the crash to engine problems and ruled out any act of terrorism as a possible cause.
The beginning of 2020 is marked by escalation of conflict between the USA and Iran after Iranian general Qassim Suleimani was killed in US air strike at Baghdad Airport on January 3. In retaliation, on January 7-8 Iran attacked US military forces in Iraq. At the same time US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a NOTAM outlining flight restrictions that prohibit U.S. civil aviation operators from operating in the airspace over Iraq, Iran, and the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.