- The Fly Dubai charter plane has landed in Dubai
- It was carrying 140 passengers, including 100 Americans, officials said
- The plane was ordered to land in Bandar Abbas in southern Iran
A charter airplane carrying military contractors, including Americans, took off early Saturday from Iran, hours after its pilots were ordered to land because the flight plan was out of date, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman said.
The Fly Dubai charter landed in Dubai a short time later, spokeswoman Marie Harf said.
The news brought to an end an incident that began late Friday when the charter plane en route to the United Arab Emirates was told by Iran that it needed to return to Afghanistan, a number of U.S. officials said.
The pilots said they did not have enough fuel to return to Afghanistan, and the Iranians ordered it to land or be "intercepted," the officials said.
It landed in Bandar Abbas in southern Iran near the Persian Gulf, the officials said. The plane was then inspected by Iranian authorities, they said.
There were 140 passengers, including 100 U.S. citizens, on board the flight, which originated at Bagram Airfield, they said. All of the passengers were still believed to be on board, the officials said.
The problem appears to have begun when the flight's departure from Bagram was delayed three hours. As a result, Iranian authorities considered the flight plan "expired" by the time the charter plane crossed into Iran's airspace, officials said.
The plane was allowed to leave after Fly Dubai filed a new flight plan and arranged for more fuel, the officials said.