UN aviation agency to release Ryanair diversion interim report next week

The UN aviation agency said Wednesday it will release an interim report next week on the diversion of a Ryanair flight by Belarus that caused a global outcry.

The United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization last month launched a “fact-finding investigation” into the forced grounding of the Athens to Vilnius flight, which was carrying dissident Belarus journalist Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega, who were subsequently arrested after the plane landed.

“An interim report will be presented to the ICAO Council by the end of its current session, on or near 23 June,” the ICAO said in a statement.

The Montreal-based agency said Belarus and Poland have provided some “preliminary details” for the ongoing probe, while the ICAO continues to seek information from Greece, Ireland, Lithuania and Switzerland.

A final report is expected to be submitted to the ICAO Council — a governing body made up of 36 member states — in September.

On May 23, Belarusian traffic controllers told Ryanair pilots to divert the plane, citing a bomb threat that proved to be false and scrambling a military jet to accompany the plane.

It was forced to land in Minsk where Protasevich and Sapega were arrested.

Britain and the European Union responded by telling airlines to avoid Belarusian airspace and banning the ex-Soviet country’s flagship carrier Belavia.

Close Bitnami banner