World News

Ukraine airline chief says he never believed airline caused Iran crash

FILE PHOTO: Ukraine International Airlines president Yevhenii Dykhne speaks during a news briefing following the crash of the Boeing 737-800 plane, flight PS 752, on the outskirts of Tehran, at the Boryspil International Airport, outside Kiev, Ukraine January 8, 2020. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine International Airlines President Yevhenii Dykhne said on Saturday he never doubted that the airline had not caused the crash of its passenger plane in Iran.

Eleven Ukrainians, including nine crew members, died in the plane crash that killed 176 people on Wednesday, according to Ukrainian government figures. Dykhne wrote a statement on social media after Iran said it had mistakenly shot down the plane.

“We didn’t doubt for a second that our crew and our plane couldn’t be the cause for this horrible plane crash,” Dykhne said.

“These were our best guys and girls. The best,” he said.

Reporting by Natalia Zinets; writing by Matthias Williams. Editing by Jane Merriman