US Boeing 747 Seizure Leads Venezuela To Ban Argentina’s Aircraft From Airspace

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  • Venezuela has banned Argentinian aircraft from its airspace, accusing Argentina of acts of theft against Venezuela.
  • The DOJ seized a Boeing 747-300 linked with IRGC-QF, which was then operated by Venezuela’s Emtrasur Cargo.
  • The aircraft, once grounded in Argentina, ended up on US soil and was scrapped in Florida.

After the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) had seized a Boeing 747-300, previously linked with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp-Quds Force (IRGC-QF), in Argentina, Venezuela retaliated by banning Argentinian aircraft from its airspace.

Seizure of Boeing 747-300

According to a statement by Yván Pinto, the Minister for People’s Power for Foreign Affairs of Venezuela, which he shared on X, formerly known as Twitter, no Argentinian or Argentina-bound aircraft will be allowed to enter Venezuela’s airspace.

Pinto accused the Argentian government of being “neo-nazis,” saying that Manuel Adorni, the spokesperson of the President of Argentina, is pretending to ignore the consequences of the country’s acts of theft against Venezuela. Specifically, Pinto reiterated that Venezuela repeatedly warned their Argentinian counterparts over the seizure of the Boeing 747-300 that belonged to Emtrasur Cargo. The company is a subsidiary of Conviasia, the flag carrier of Venezuela.

The Minister continued, adding that Venezuela is exercising full sovereignty of its airspace by disallowing any Argentinian aircraft or aircraft flying from/to Argentina to enter the country’s airspace. The ban will take place until Argentina compensates Venezuela for the damage that it had caused by seizing the aircraft, concluded Pinto.


US Government Seizes Grounded Iranian Boeing 747

The aircraft has since been ferried to Florida.

Linked with the IRGC-QF

On February 12, the DOJ announced that it had seized a Boeing 747 aircraft, which was previously owned by Mahan Air, a sanctioned airline that was affiliated with the IRGC-QF. A day prior, Argentinian authorities transferred the aircraft to the US, after the US. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the transfer of the rights, title, and interest in the aircraft to the US.

 Mahan Air Boeing 747 landing in Moscow shutterstock_2173581739

Photo: Telsek | Shutterstock

According to Matthew Olsen, an Assistant Attorney at the DOJ’s National Security Division, the US-built aircraft was transferred by a sanctioned airline, which violated the country’s export control laws and directly benefited the IRGC-QF, a designated terrorist organization.

“The Justice Department is committed to ensuring that the full force of US laws deny hostile state actors the means to engage in malign activities that threaten our national security.”


Seized Boeing 747 Ferried To Miami By The US DOJ

The aircraft arrived in the US on February 12.

Scrapped in Florida

According to ch-aviation data, Boeing initially delivered the 747-300 to Union de Transports Aériens (UTA), a French airline, in 1986. After its merger with Air France, the aircraft continued operating for the carrier before Garuda Indonesia acquired it for a year in 2006. Eventually, Iran-based Mahan Air acquired the aircraft in September 2009, operating it until December 2021.

Venezuelan Emtrasur Cargo airline Boeing 747

Photo: Venezuela Embassy in Belarus

The Venezuelan Emtrasur Cargo began flying the aircraft in January 2022. However, data showed that the Argentine authorities impounded the 747-300 at Buenos Aires Ezeiza International Airport (EZE) in June of the same year.

In March, a month after the aircraft arrived on US soil, the aircraft was finally dismantled at Miami Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport (TNT), seemingly ending the month-long saga. However, according to a report by Venezuela-based Alberto News, Argentina had begun diplomatic measures against Venezuela.

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