Just six weeks into 2018 and the second commercial aircraft crash has claimed 65 lives today in Iran. This follows a collision in Russia earlier in February.
Last year was the safest year on record for commercial aviation given the volume of flights, number of passengers and limited accidents. The most fatal in 2017 was a cargo aircraft that crashed in dense fog killing four on board and 35 on the ground in a nearby village.
Today’s incident, an ATR-72, was en route from Tehran to Yasuj. Bloomberg reports that dense fog in the mountainous region likely contributed to the crash. Local authorities have confirmed upon finding the wreckage that all 59 passengers and six crew were killed when the plane went down. Approach to the mountain airport includes flying near several 14,000 feet peaks. The carrier, Aseman Airlines, has a checkered safety record due to challenging conditions and difficulty getting replacement parts due to sanctions.
Since sanctions were adjusted due to an Iranian nuclear deal in 2015, Aseman has since ordered 20 new ATR-72s and placed a $3bn order with Boeing for 20 737s.
The Red Crescent in Iran was said to be sending staff and support materials.