Iran bans Boeing 737 MAX from airspace: civil aviation

Tehran (AFP) –


Iran's civil aviation authority said Friday it had banned Boeing 737 Max jets from its airspace, the latest in a series of countries to do so after a deadly crash.

The decision was announced by civil aviation spokesman Reza Jafarzadeh, in a bulletin published by the transport ministry.

"Following the banning of the 737 MAX from the airspace of many countries, including America, which is the country that builds it, this type of plane is now banned from Iranian airspace," Jafarzadeh said.

The aircraft has been grounded worldwide in the wake of an Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday which killed all 157 people on board.

The fatal accident near Addis Ababa came after a Lion Air 737 MAX 8 crashed last October, killing 189 people.

French authorities are currently examining the Ethiopian aircraft to determine why the new plane crashed just minutes after takeoff.

Iran cannot purchase or operate Boeing 737 MAX planes due to US sanctions.

The transport ministry however said in December one such aircraft made an emergency landing in the southern city of Shiraz due to engine troubles.

Passengers of the Norwegian Air Shuttle plane were unhurt in the incident and flew out the next day, but the aircraft was stuck in Shiraz for more than two months before the United States allowed necessary spare parts to be flown into Iran.