Norwegian Air 737 has been stuck in Iran for 4 weeks
A Norwegian Air jet diverted into Shiraz, Iran, last month because of a technical issue, but the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft hasn't been able to leave the country since.
The 186 passengers left Dubai and were heading to Oslo, Norway, when the incident occurred. Another aircraft was able to pick up the passengers and all made it to Oslo a day later. The original plane, however, still hasn't moved.
Norwegian hadn't ever flow to Iran and has no base there, according to The New York Times. The plane apparently is stuck due to U.S. sanctions in Tehran's nuclear program that blocks civilian aircraft sales and restricts service and replacement parts.
"There is no getting around the U.S. sanctions," a Germany-based trade issues lawyer told The New York Times regarding the issue. "Let’s assume they need a spare part and that spare part contains more 10 percent U.S.-origin goods, or technology − that would require a U.S. license."
"We had a technical issue on the aircraft (a Boeing 737-8 MAX) from Dubai towards Oslo on (Dec. 14), and we made a diversion into Shiraz, Iran, where the plane landed safely," Norwegian Air told USA TODAY in a statement.
"Unfortunately the paperwork necessary to service the plane has taken longer than usual, partly due to fact that we have had to familiarize ourselves with Iranian regulations," the airline continued. "At this moment, we don't have a fixed timeline but we are hoping for it to be as soon as possible so we can get the aircraft back in the air."