Friday, March 07, 2014

Iraqi minister's son misses flight, forces plane back!!!

A passenger plane flying from Lebanon to Iraq on Thursday turned back after the Iraqi transport minister's son missed the flight and phoned Baghdad to stop the aircraft from landing, Middle East Airlines (MEA) said.

Marwan Salha, acting chairman of MEA, told Reuters the flight, scheduled to leave at 1240, had been delayed for six minutes while MEA staff looked for Mahdi al-Amiri, son of Hadi al-Amiri, and his friend in the business lounge.

"We made the necessary announcements and the last calls," he said. "The plane took off but one of the passengers turned out to be the son of the minister of Iraq."

Salha said that when Amiri arrived at the gate he was angry and said: "I will not allow the plane to land in Baghdad."

Twenty-one minutes into the flight, the Baghdad airport station manager called MEA operations to tell them there was no clearance to land, Salha said. The plane then returned to Beirut and the passengers disembarked.

"It's very disturbing because this is pure nepotism," Salha said, adding that he hoped to resume flights to Iraq on Friday but that there would not be another flight on Thursday. Full story...

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