A charter flight was grounded in Iran with as many as 100 Americans on board Friday due to a "bureaucratic issue," according to the U.S. State Department. The Boeing 737, which routinely flies contractors from Afghanistan to Dubai, was delayed by three hours, but the airline did not refile a flight plan with Iranian authorities, according to a U.S. official. Iranian ground control officers ordered the plane to land at the airport in Bandar Abbas in southern Iran, or else fighter jets would have been scrambled to force the plane down, the official said. The pilot voluntarily landed the plane.
“The issue appears to have been resolved, and hopefully the plane will be able to take off soon,” according to a U.S. State Department statement. Fly Dubai sent a second jet to the airport, all passengers and baggage was transferred to the new plane, and the flight took off just after 6 p.m. ET, about three hours after it was diverted.
— Jim Miklaszewski, Courtney Kube and Elisha Fieldstadt