Passengers of An-140 jet were flying to Iran to organize assembly of air liners

The Ukrainian jet that crashed in Iran late Monday night carried 42 passengers and 4 crew; some of the people on board were Russian, reported the Iranian foreign ministry. All of them were killed in the crash. The jet, an An-140, was flying from Kharkov, Ukraine, to Isfahan, Iran. It crashed 70 kilometres south of the town of Ardestan.

Among the passengers were Ukrainian and Russian specialists who were flying to Iran to organise the assembly of An-140 jets from spare parts delivered from Ukraine. They were also expected to attend the demonstration flight of the first An-140 assembled in Isfahan.

On October 15th, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma announced that Ukraine and Iran were about to set up a joint consortium assembling An-140 passenger jets. "We have agreed to set up a joint consortium and invite other participants," he said.

The parties had signed a contract for serial production of An-140 jets back in 1995. So far they have assembled only one jet of this type.

The consortium was planning to assemble about 100 jets by the year 2020. Each jet costs 8.5 million dollars.

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