FlyDubai Flight With Israeli Soldier Diverts To Iran

FlyDubai Flight With Israeli Soldier Diverts To Iran

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An Israeli soldier recently spent roughly 10 hours in Iran after a flight diverted there due to a sick pilot, and fortunately she managed to fly under the radar.

FlyDubai flight diverts to Iran due to sick pilot

On Thursday, October 27, 2022, FlyDubai flight FZ1942 was scheduled to operate from Tashkent, Uzbekistan (TAS), to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (DXB). The 1,369-mile flight was scheduled to depart at 4:05AM and arrive at 6:50AM, with a block time of 3hr45min. The flight was operated by a roughly five year old Boeing 737-800 with the registration code A6-FED.

While the flight departed as scheduled, unfortunately a problem arose inflight. Specifically, the captain became severely ill, and eventually become unconscious. This caused a diversion to Shiraz, Iran (SYZ), roughly three hours after departing Tashkent. Shiraz is only 341 miles from Dubai.

A FlyDubai flight diverted to Shiraz, Iran

As you’d expect, having an emergency landing due to an unconscious pilot can cause some logistical challenges. The airline needed to get a new pilot to Shiraz, and the plane ended up spending around 10 hours on the ground there. The flight finally arrived in Dubai around 5:45PM, nearly 11 hours behind schedule. Ouch.

The continuation of the FlyDubai flight to Dubai

An Israeli soldier was onboard this flight

As such, a 10-hour diversion to Iran due to a sick pilot is probably only a mildly interesting story, but there’s another angle to this. As reported by The Times of Israel, a 19-year-old member of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) was on this flight.

Israel is a sworn enemy of Iran, and the countries have been engaged in a years-long shadow war, with tensions having escalated even further earlier this year. Unfortunately in the past we’ve seen some countries exploit diversions for political leverage.

The Russian-speaking soldier had been visiting family in Uzbekistan, and was traveling back home via Dubai (we recently saw relations improve between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, leading to substantial air service between the countries). While on the ground, the soldier contacted her parents, who notified her commanders. This information was passed on to senior defense officials, and Prime Minister Yair Lapid was even notified.

Israel’s national intelligence agency made contact with the soldier, advising her to conceal her Israeli identity, and not speak Hebrew. It’s believed that the soldier had both an Israeli and Russian passport, and that she presented her Russian passport in Iran.

Iran was unaware that there was an Israeli soldier in its territory, though some sources suggest officials did realize this after the plane took off again. Fortunately the plane took off without incident, and the soldier made it back home safely.

These details are only now being released, roughly one week after the incident. One has to wonder what would have happened if officials did realize she belonged to the IDF.

A FlyDubai jet diverted to Iran with a soldier onboard

Bottom line

A FlyDubai flight from Tashkent to Dubai diverted to Shiraz after the pilot became ill. The plane ended up spending 10 hours on the ground there until a replacement pilot could be flown in, and at that point continued to Dubai.

The most interesting aspect of this story is that there was an Israeli soldier on the flight, and Israel and Iran are enemies. Fortunately she managed to evade detection by using a foreign passport, though I have to imagine this could have also ended differently.

What do you make of this FlyDubai diversion to Iran?

(Tip of the hat to Alon)

Conversations (39)
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  1. Felix Dessel Guest

    The end of my comment was.
    God bless America, the flag was left out!

  2. Felix Dessel Guest

    That’s so ironic! If it was an Iranian stuck in an Israeli airport it would be a non story. The people of Iran are good people and only want freedom. The leaders are sick, they need to join the new century.
    Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Russia, North Korea and another handful of countries need to take notice, their system of oppression does not work. People want to be free even if they have nothing.
    God bless

  3. Kezza Guest

    Sounds a bit Lite ERT Greece and Israel produced "Tehran"

  4. SullyofDoha Guest

    This is an absolute NON STORY!

  5. Safe Travels! Guest

    @Sharon: Maybe Iran Knew and made it a non issue. Countries stop other Nationals in Transit for many reasons, including your Israel, recently watched a movie where a Palestinian was Blackmailed into spying for Israel, otherwise his Paraplegic daughter would be disembarked in Germany and delayed in getting treatment which would have resulted in her death.

  6. Basant Kumar Guest

    Regardless if she was an ISRAELI IDF soldier, A 19 year old girl on a Dubai registered plane
    With legally purchased tickets lands in SHIRAZ IRAN under medical emergency for no fault of her own, the plane original flight plan & scheduled path was to land in Dubai after departing Uzbekistan, purely due to an emergency situation she had to make an detour to Shiraz , As per my understanding Iran being a civilised...

    Regardless if she was an ISRAELI IDF soldier, A 19 year old girl on a Dubai registered plane
    With legally purchased tickets lands in SHIRAZ IRAN under medical emergency for no fault of her own, the plane original flight plan & scheduled path was to land in Dubai after departing Uzbekistan, purely due to an emergency situation she had to make an detour to Shiraz , As per my understanding Iran being a civilised country wound not have done any harm to this young girl, however in worst case scenario any harm done to this young girl would have amounted to pure barbarism completely against international norms as she was travelling as bona fide passenger not on an any espionage or sabotage mission of any kind, Since it was DUBAI registered carrier , UAE was equally responsible for her safety until the time she deplanes At her destination DUBAI,

    1. Petri Diamond

      "Iran being a civilzed country"? #mahsaamini

  7. Steve Guest

    Am I missing something here? If the flight map is to be believed, why didn’t the flight continue to Dubai regardless of who was on board? The distance from the point of flight plan change to Shiraz or to Dubai doesn’t seem to be too great a change and the difference in flight time ought not to have been significant enough even with a sick captain.

  8. Joseph Story Guest

    Kind of a non story when every almost every citizen of Israel must serve two years in the IDF. You could have mentioned that fact, Lucky.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      The heck kind of "logic" is that?

      Does it change the facts that (1) this kid was currently serving, (2) in Iran through no fault of her own, and (3) tensions were significant, if the freakin' PM had to be notified?

      Did you put the slightest bit of thought into that post?

  9. Mick Guest

    There is a Jeffrey archer short story (part of the collection “12 red herrings”) that has a very similar storyline. Escaped Iraqi politician to the USA inadvertently is diverted to Baghdad. Great read.

  10. Docntx Guest

    Right out of the Apple TV series “Teheran.”
    Iran is an autocratic state that has consistently flaunted international law.
    A “bloody soldier?” Perhaps, but she is a conscript. Just out of high school with not much in the way of choices.

  11. Jkjkjk Guest

    Lol look at these westerners. They had such a short memory. Not so long ago, Canada and RCMP arrested a foreign tech executive transferring over there because of allegedly doing “business with Iran”. The US of A are trying to extradite a foreign citizen of a foreign companies from a third country for not following US laws? Even the EU didn’t want to follow US sanctions.
    And now you make fuss about this or...

    Lol look at these westerners. They had such a short memory. Not so long ago, Canada and RCMP arrested a foreign tech executive transferring over there because of allegedly doing “business with Iran”. The US of A are trying to extradite a foreign citizen of a foreign companies from a third country for not following US laws? Even the EU didn’t want to follow US sanctions.
    And now you make fuss about this or belarus? You did this to others and expect the other side not to do it? Hypocrisy at it’s best.
    Remember, it was US who re-installed the Shah so that Iran would sell their oil. The people of Iran does not like that and you sanction them and you like democracy? Haha

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Can you copy/paste where anything said here is in absolution of the West?

      Seems you're whining to hear yourself talk. No one's saying the other side's innocent.

  12. VitaliU Gold

    I am glad she is OK. This is yet another example that one should never overfly a country where one can be in trouble if the plane lands.

  13. Hank Tarn Guest

    I think Americans should only be allowed American citizenship. If you want another passport go and live there instead but make up your mind, you can only be loyal to one nation. Simple as that.

    1. ben Guest

      don't worry. most americans don't even have a passport.

    2. Jesse Guest

      And I think you're a shortsighted moron. What about kids with one American parent and one foreign citizen parent? My child was born in Russia to a Russian citizen mother, and I, her father, am an American citizen. Why should my kid not be allowed American citizenship, in your view? Simply because she holds Russian citizenship through her mother? Without US citizenship, she'd have to obtain a visa (which is quite hard for non-citizen relatives...

      And I think you're a shortsighted moron. What about kids with one American parent and one foreign citizen parent? My child was born in Russia to a Russian citizen mother, and I, her father, am an American citizen. Why should my kid not be allowed American citizenship, in your view? Simply because she holds Russian citizenship through her mother? Without US citizenship, she'd have to obtain a visa (which is quite hard for non-citizen relatives of US citizens) every time shes comes with me to the US to stay and visit family. That wouldn't be fair at all! Please, use your brain before you post such brainless nonsense.

    3. rrapynot Guest

      Did you know that Donald Trump has UK citizenship as well as US citizenship? You probably make exceptions for people like him though.

  14. Bagoly Guest

    I wouldn't want to risk being a such a situation, but I'm not sure that the Iranians would be that far off international norms to take advantage of such a diversion.
    If it were the other way round, would Israel have arrested any Iranian solder?
    A commander on their target list for having killed Israelis by supplying arms to Hamas yes, but I suspect that for an ordinary soldier both these countries would...

    I wouldn't want to risk being a such a situation, but I'm not sure that the Iranians would be that far off international norms to take advantage of such a diversion.
    If it were the other way round, would Israel have arrested any Iranian solder?
    A commander on their target list for having killed Israelis by supplying arms to Hamas yes, but I suspect that for an ordinary soldier both these countries would regard it as sensible to look the other way.
    Even Ukraine and Russia are still communicating about prisoner swaps.

    On the other hand, if any of the Gulf States have you listed as a debtor, they will arrest you in the event of a diversion.

    1. mxaraxstax Guest

      To be fair, Belarus faked an emergency landing to arrest someone on the plane that wasn't expecting to set foot in Belarus, so you know anything's possible.

    2. flyhigh3 Guest

      Israel absolutely would have taken advantage of the situation had the roles been reversed.

    3. Sarah Guest

      Based on what, exactly?

    4. Jon Guest

      Flyhigh3 - How would they have taken advantage of an Iranian soldier, exactly?

    5. Arie Guest

      There have been other instances of Israelis having been in iran without incident. I'm in israel right now and yes people are talking about it but none is as full of bs as some of the ignorant comments here. Neither Israel nor iran would have done anything but allow them to continue on trip home. This is a whole lot of nothing and just shows the level of ignorance that permeates in this forum. Oh and Israeli women can be excused from military service, so do many men.

  15. Tim Dunn Diamond

    Makes you wonder if there will be some policy changes coming to Israeli military members. This problem would likely not have happened when there was no air service between Israel and the Arab Middle East countries but now overflight issues can be as difficult as the two "ends" of a flight.

  16. Abey Guest

    Can’t imagine the fear of these young women (literally a baby) sitting on that tarmac. God bless she’s ok

    1. Samo Guest

      She's a bloody soldier, definitely not a baby.

    2. Jon Guest

      Samo you seem like a real lover of humanity. She's 19 years old serving compulsory military service.

    3. carlos Guest

      It is a conscription system, not voluntary, so most of these kids don't really want to kill anyone. I would not call her a "bloody" soldier.

    4. Speedbird Guest

      Fun, now can you try to imagine the fear of an actual baby being killed in an IDF airstrike on their open air prison?

  17. baflyer2 Guest

    This sounds a lot like the plot of Tehran (on Apple TV+)

    1. Ethan Guest

      An amazing TV show, highly recommended.

    2. pstm91 Diamond

      Not just similar - that is literally the first episode (though they weren't in the military). Great show. Highly recommend Fauda as well.

    3. Tom I Guest

      First thing I thought of as well. By the way. I visit Israel a couple of times per year and this is the favorite show there.

    4. jb Guest

      I immediately thought of this episode as well. However in that case the “emergency” landing was faked so a little different. But great show!!

    5. bruh Guest

      Argo 2.0 speedrun (although thankfully no embassy personnel involved.)

  18. Sharon Guest

    Wow, I am so glad she is safe, and very smart for her to use her Russian passport.

    It would have been awful for Iran to exploit this Emerency landing.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Never In Doubt Guest

Sir, this is a Wendy’s.

14
ben Guest

don't worry. most americans don't even have a passport.

6
Sharon Guest

Wow, I am so glad she is safe, and very smart for her to use her Russian passport. It would have been awful for Iran to exploit this Emerency landing.

6
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