Boeing 737 flown by Oman Air damaged by runway debris in Iran, stranding aircraft


Dubai (AP) — Oman Air said Tuesday that one of its Boeing 737s had been grounded in Iran after sustaining damage “caused by debris on the runway” at Shiraz International Airport.

The Muscat-based flag carrier for the sultanate did not elaborate on what debris the plane struck on landing Monday in Shiraz. Iranian officials did not immediately acknowledge the incident involving the aircraft.

“Our engineering team is undertaking the necessary measures to safely bring the aircraft back to Muscat,” the airline said in an online statement. It described the route as operating as a chartered flight and that those stuck had been provided accommodation in Shiraz, some 680 kilometers (420 miles) southeast of Tehran.

However, other airlines have faced challenges in bringing back damaged aircraft. U.S. sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program have barred spare aviation parts from being on hand in the Islamic Republic. That complicates repairs on aircraft from both Boeing Co. and Airbus, which have American-made parts.

In December 2018, a brand-new Boeing 737 Max flown by Norwegian Air Shuttle landed in Shiraz after a fault in one of its engines while flying from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The aircraft remained stuck on the ground there for several months before finally leaving.

The airport in Shiraz, like many others in the Mideast, is used by both commercial and military flights.

Iran and Oman have maintained close relations through the decades, even amid Tehran’s tensions with its Gulf Arab neighbors and the U.S. Oman frequently has served as an interlocutor for the West with Iran.

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