To the Editor,
Immediately following ballistic missiles being launched from Iran towards American bases in Iraq last week, major air carriers such as British Airways, Lufthansa, Emirates Airlines, Qantas, Air India, Singapore Airlines, Malaysian Airlines and others diverted all flights to avoid airspace in the combat zone over Iran and Iraq.
Simultaneously, several flights scheduled to leave Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport were reportedly cancelled, but not the Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752, which took off into the combat zone shortly after Iran’s ballistic missiles were launched.
The loss of life of 138 passengers en route to Toronto is beyond tragic, as Canada mourns its 57 citizens of Iranian origin who died.
As Iran does not recognize dual-citizenship, then they would all be Iranians according to Tehran’s government, but it really makes no difference what passport they held along with their boarding passes and tickets.
They, along with others accounted for 176 fatalities, killed by the firing of a rocket into the Ukrainian passenger jet, allegedly mistaken for an incoming retaliatory missile.
Airlines routinely take every precaution to avoid tragedies like this, but sadly they still occur in combat zones all over the world. Canada’s governmental agencies now undertaking investigations in Tehran, must first discern why and how the plane was allowed to take off, when so many others where cancelled and diverted.
Let’s hope Ukrainian International Airlines and Iranian airport authorities are ready with feasible answers.