Belavia company, the national air transport operator of Belarus, stated that Ukraine forced their aircraft to land in Zhuliany airport in Kyiv. The passenger plane was on its way from Kyiv to Minsk, but the Ukrainian side ordered the crew to turn back and land in Zhuliany. That’s what the press release at Belavia’s website said.
‘On October 21, 2016, Boeing 737-800 (side number EW-456PA) of Belavia company was on its flight B2-840 from Zhuliany (Kyiv) to Minsk. The plane was forced to land in Zhuliany. 136 passengers and 6 crew members were aboard. As 50 kilometers remained to the Belarusian airspace, the crew received orders to return to the airport – from the dispatcher of Ukraerorukh, the Ukrainian state-run company for air traffic management. No reasons were explained. Besides, the dispatcher threatened to lift Air Force fighters in the air, in case the crew doesn’t obey the order. The crew obeyed and started to descend at 15.37’, reads the press release.
At 15.55 Belavia’s aircraft landed in Zhuliany. Upon the re-boarding, Ukrainian law enforcers detained a passenger who proved to be the citizen of Armenia. Later that day, he was released and continued his trip to Minsk, having boarded on another aircraft. The aircraft refueled and successfully left Ukraine, landing in Minsk at 17.33 local time.
Belavia’s management apologized to their passengers for the inconveniences. The Belarusian side will demand compensation for the losses suffered due to the unscheduled return to Zhuliany.