By Patrick Appleton
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has added to calls for an investigation into the downing of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752 (PS 752).
PS 752, en route to Kyiv, was shot down just minutes into its flight from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport on 8 January, resulting in the loss of all 176 passengers and crew.
Ukrainian International Airlines—an IATA member—had never previously experienced a fatal crash in its 28-year history, according to Aviation Safety Network, an independent flight safety watchdog.
The industry will do all it can to support governments, through ICAO, in the difficult work that lies ahead. Keeping flying safe is our shared top priority
Nationals from Iran, Canada, Ukraine, the UK and Sweden were among those killed and IATA backed calls from Canada, Ukraine and the US—where the plane was built—that an independent investigation into the tragedy must take place.
“A thorough and transparent investigation is critical,” said the trade body. “Governments must review how risk assessments are made and information is shared.
“The industry will do all it can to support governments, through ICAO, in the difficult work that lies ahead. Keeping flying safe is our shared top priority.”
Iran initially denied that the plane had been downed by one of its missiles, but on 11 January the state admitted to its role in the incident saying that human error had “unintentionally” caused the crash.
It has since emerged that the Boeing 737-800 was shot down by a missile operator who had mistaken the aircraft for a cruise missile amid growing tensions between the US and Iran, according to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace commander.
“It is an outrage that a civil aircraft—an instrument of peace—is downed even inadvertently by military action,” IATA said.
“To honor the memories of the 176 innocent souls aboard PS 752 no effort should be spared to make sure that such a tragedy is never repeated.”
Iran has vowed to prosecute those responsible for the disaster and invited Canada, Ukraine, Boeing and the US—as the aircraft manufacturer’s point of origin—to participate in an investigation but how an inquiry would proceed is unclear at present.