#AceWorldNews – UNITED STATES (Washington) – September 08 – A U.S. military charter aircraft flying from Afghanistan to Dubai landed in Iran because of a misunderstanding over a flight plan, two U.S. officials confirmed Friday and USA today reported with AP media sources
The plane was allowed to depart after spending several hours on the ground in southern Iran. The State Department later confirmed that it had landed in Dubai.
“We appreciate the efforts of all parties to help the passengers get safely to their destination,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement. She described the problem as a “bureaucratic issue” with the plane’s flight plan.
The flight was carrying about 100 passengers, most of them U.S. government contractors, and originated in Bagram, a large military air base in Afghanistan. There were no U.S. service personnel on board.
The aircraft was operated by Fly Dubai, a commercial airline based in the United Arab Emirates.
The officials said the Iranians asked the pilot to turn around. The pilot, worried that the aircraft didn’t have enough fuel to return to Bagram, was given an option to land instead at an airport in southern Iran, Bandar Abbas.
The officials said the pilot was flying an established flight plan through Iranian airspace, but the flight had been delayed by several hours in Bagram. As a result, the Iranians had not expected them at the time they were flying through their airspace.
Contributing: The Associated Press