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  1. #1
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    Row as Iraq minister's son 'forces' flight turnaround




    Middle East Airlines acting Chairman Marwan Salha said the incident was "very disturbing"


    A passenger plane from Lebanon to Iraq was forced to turn around in mid-flight because the Iraqi transport minister's son was angry about missing it, Middle East Airlines (MEA) has said.

    The airline says the minister's son telephoned Baghdad to stop the aircraft from landing.

    It had to turn around 21 minutes into the flight, according to MEA.

    The transport ministry confirmed the incident but said it was due to airport cleaning.

    A spokesman told Reuters news agency the minister's son had not been a passenger on it.

    "There were cleaning operations in the airport and specific measures were taken," transport ministry media adviser Kareem al-Nuri said.

    "We asked all flights not to land in Baghdad airport after 09:00 [06:0 GMT] but this flight arrived after this time, so we asked it to turn back.

    "This information [about the minister's son] is not true and the minister is not accepting such behaviour. The minister's son was not scheduled to take that flight at all."


    Flight cancelled

    But MEA acting Chairman Marwan Salha told Reuters the incident was "very disturbing" and smacked of "pure nepotism".


    Many Iraqis believe that relatives of elected officials and leaders of political parties act as if they are above the law


    Mr Salha said that the flight had been scheduled to leave at 12:40 (10:40 GMT) on Thursday, but was delayed for six minutes while airline staff searched for Mahdi al-Amiri, son of Hadi al-Amiri, and his friend in the business lounge.

    "We made the necessary announcements and the last calls," he told Reuters. "The plane took off but one of the passengers turned out to be the son of the minister of Iraq."

    He said that when Mr Amiri eventually arrived at the departure gate he was angry to discover that he had missed the flight, warning staff: "I will not allow the plane to land in Baghdad."

    The flight was cancelled after it returned to Beirut, officials say, which meant that its 71 passengers had to search for new means of transport.

    Contacts are going on between the Lebanese and the Iraqi authorities to resolve the matter.

    Hadi al-Amiri is head of the Badr Organisation, previously an armed Shia militia. He is now a political ally of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

    Many Iraqis believe that relatives of elected officials and leaders of political parties act as if they are above the law.

    An anonymous official at Baghdad airport told Reuters that air traffic on Thursday was normal, with 30 flights landing. The only one that turned around was the one from Beirut, he said.

    Since news of the incident emerged, Mr Amiri and his son have been mocked on social media


    BBC News - Row as Iraq minister's son 'forces' flight turnaround

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Lick View Post
    Many Iraqis believe that relatives of elected officials and leaders of political parties act as if they are above the law
    I can think of another country where that is a problem, but add unelected officials and anyone with money.

  3. #3
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    What's up with the Lebanese, don't they have the balls to arrest the piece of crap?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Lick View Post



    Middle East Airlines acting Chairman Marwan Salha said the incident was "very disturbing"


    A passenger plane from Lebanon to Iraq was forced to turn around in mid-flight because the Iraqi transport minister's son was angry about missing it, Middle East Airlines (MEA) has said.

    The airline says the minister's son telephoned Baghdad to stop the aircraft from landing.

    It had to turn around 21 minutes into the flight, according to MEA.

    The transport ministry confirmed the incident but said it was due to airport cleaning.

    A spokesman told Reuters news agency the minister's son had not been a passenger on it.

    "There were cleaning operations in the airport and specific measures were taken," transport ministry media adviser Kareem al-Nuri said.

    "We asked all flights not to land in Baghdad airport after 09:00 [06:0 GMT] but this flight arrived after this time, so we asked it to turn back.

    "This information [about the minister's son] is not true and the minister is not accepting such behaviour. The minister's son was not scheduled to take that flight at all."


    Flight cancelled

    But MEA acting Chairman Marwan Salha told Reuters the incident was "very disturbing" and smacked of "pure nepotism".


    Many Iraqis believe that relatives of elected officials and leaders of political parties act as if they are above the law


    Mr Salha said that the flight had been scheduled to leave at 12:40 (10:40 GMT) on Thursday, but was delayed for six minutes while airline staff searched for Mahdi al-Amiri, son of Hadi al-Amiri, and his friend in the business lounge.

    "We made the necessary announcements and the last calls," he told Reuters. "The plane took off but one of the passengers turned out to be the son of the minister of Iraq."

    He said that when Mr Amiri eventually arrived at the departure gate he was angry to discover that he had missed the flight, warning staff: "I will not allow the plane to land in Baghdad."

    The flight was cancelled after it returned to Beirut, officials say, which meant that its 71 passengers had to search for new means of transport.

    Contacts are going on between the Lebanese and the Iraqi authorities to resolve the matter.

    Hadi al-Amiri is head of the Badr Organisation, previously an armed Shia militia. He is now a political ally of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

    Many Iraqis believe that relatives of elected officials and leaders of political parties act as if they are above the law.

    An anonymous official at Baghdad airport told Reuters that air traffic on Thursday was normal, with 30 flights landing. The only one that turned around was the one from Beirut, he said.

    Since news of the incident emerged, Mr Amiri and his son have been mocked on social media


    BBC News - Row as Iraq minister's son 'forces' flight turnaround
    I can't see what a transport minister's son, with no official powers, has to do with demanding the recall of a flight to save its integrity with a good scrubover. Must confess as an ordinary bloke I can't be arsed to check that all flights to my home country have been cleaned prior to takeoff. I really should take more of an interest, though I'm not sure what I would do upon discovering Eva Air from Bkk was about to land at LHR with a dirty toilet.

    But good that the Beeb explains the lad was so concerned that he invoked his civic duty to prevent the dirty flight from soiling his beloved country. And it seems that after recall and fumigation, the poor thing put himself well out by travelling on the flight, though he wasn't scheduled to, to check for himself that the cleaners did their job properly.


    I recall some years back, nobody in the control tower dared to hold back a Saudi Royal plane from taking off while another was landing, which resulted in two commoner planes colliding and massive death loss. But that was royalty, which is understandable.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thormaturge View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Lick View Post
    Many Iraqis believe that relatives of elected officials and leaders of political parties act as if they are above the law
    I can think of another country where that is a problem, but add unelected officials and anyone with money.
    Not in SEA is it, around the Cambodia/Burma region?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    What's up with the Lebanese, don't they have the balls to arrest the piece of crap?
    Not sure who owns the Beirut airport part of Lebanon, but it ain't the Lebanese, not since they went PC multikulti tolerant and started welcoming regional immigrants.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by leemo View Post
    I can't see what a transport minister's son, with no official powers, has to do with demanding the recall of a flight to save its integrity with a good scrubover.
    He obviously has powers in Baghdad, because what he did was stop it landing.

  8. #8
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    Baghdad airport official arrested following MEA flight fiasco

    March 07, 2014 10:44 AM

    (Last updated: March 07, 2014 03:01 PM)



    BEIRUT: Iraqi security forces detained an airport official in connection with the decision to turn back a flight from Beirut Thursday after the son of the Iraqi transport minister missed the plane, Iraqi media reported.

    A “special security force from the office of the Armed Forces Commander” arrestedBaghdad Airport Assistant Manager Samer Kibbeh during a raid on his office late Thursday night, according to an article published on Iraq’s Al-Sumaria TV channel website Friday.

    Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has said he would punish those responsible for the fiasco, which went viral online soon after news broke.

    Transport Minister Ghazi Zeaiter said the incident will not affect ties between Lebanon and Iraq “neither at the political level nor at the transport level," the National News Agency reported.

    Zeaiter said the incident was an individual behavior by “an employee at Baghdad airport” and hailed Maliki's decision to punish the perpetrators.

    The new Lebanon transport minister said he discussed the incident in separate telephone calls with Maliki and Iraq's transport minister, Hadi al-Amiri.

    Amiri “was very upset," Zeaiter told the local NBN television channel, adding that Maliki took stern measures against the violators.

    Meanwhile, 21 of the 71 passengers whose flight was cancelled because of the Iraqi decision flew to Baghdad late Thursday night.

    A source at Rafik Hariri International Airport said an Iraqi Airways CRJ 900 plane carrying 59 passengers arrived in Beirut and flew back to Baghdad with 21 passengers.

    The passengers were among 71 people who were on board a Middle East Airlines plane that was forced to return to Beirut midflight after Iraqi authorities refused to let the plane land without the son of Iraqi Transport Minister Hadi al-Amiri.

    The remaining 50 passengers are expected to fly out Friday, the source told The Daily Star





  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    What's up with the Lebanese, don't they have the balls to arrest the piece of crap?
    Ummm where the fcuk have you been? The Lebanese government has been neutered and impotent for years.

  10. #10
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    so the Americans have put in place a despotic leader to replace the old despotic leader

    how dumb can they be ? oh wait, Ukraine

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Lick View Post
    <snip>
    Since news of the incident emerged, Mr Amiri and his son have been mocked on social media
    Best part of the story, IMO.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly View Post
    so the Americans have put in place a despotic leader to replace the old despotic leader

    how dumb can they be ? oh wait, Ukraine
    Americans? He's up Iran's arse you idiot.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    What's up with the Lebanese, don't they have the balls to arrest the piece of crap?
    Ummm where the fcuk have you been? The Lebanese government has been neutered and impotent for years.
    I suppose you are right, afraid of getting blown up by Hezbollah.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    What's up with the Lebanese, don't they have the balls to arrest the piece of crap?
    Just like the BIB here in Thailand...NO BALLS...!

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