The Norwegian aircraft that had to land in Iran due to engine problems has now been stuck for three weeks. US sanctions are the reason why repairs take so much time.
The plane was on its way from Dubai to Oslo with 192 passengers and cabin crew on board when it carried out a “safety landing” in Shiraz, southwest of Iran due to engine trouble on December 14.
While passengers were able to fly on to Oslo the next day with another aircraft, the Norwegian Boeing 737 Max aircraft has been stuck on Iranian soil. The airline’s mechanics are still working on repairs, confirmed Norwegian spokesperson, Andras Hjørnholm, to the French news agency, AFP.
According to Dagens Næringsliv newspaper (DN) and airline sites such as airlive.net, the US sanctions against Iran are creating repair problems. They apparently prevent Norwegian from flying spare parts into Iran.
Hjørnholm refused to comment on this information.
“I can only say that we are working along several tracks to get the plane back on the wing, and right now we are waiting for our engineers to repair the plane and make it work again” he said.
According to DN, the aircraft was brand new and cost NOK 500 million.
Can create travel trouble
The fact that the aircraft had to land in Iran could potentially cause problems for passengers on board if they plan to travel to the United States in the future.
Since 2015, anyone who has visited the United States from a risk country (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) after March 2011 has been excluded from seeking travel visas through the ESTA scheme most Europeans use.
Bornholm confirmed to AFP that passengers on board the Norwegian aircraft officially visited Iran and spent the night in a hotel between December 14 and 15.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today