DALLAS — The Emtrasur cargo Boeing 747-300FM detained in Argentina has entered US airspace, according to FlightRadar24 data.
Flight TYSON23 departed Buenos Aires’ Ezeiza International Airport (EZE) at 4:26 AM UTC. The Jumbo cargo plane (YV3531, MSN 23413, LN 632) landed at Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport (TNT), a public airport in the Florida Everglades.
The Emtrasur Boeing 747-300M Controversy
The Boeing 747 was at the center of a controversy due to inconsistencies in the number of crew members on board when the aircraft landed in Buenos Aires after attempting to enter Uruguay carrying a shipment of auto parts from Mexico.
Uruguayan authorities impeded the aircraft from entering the country’s airspace following alerts from “foreign agencies,” forcing its return to EZE, where it was detained, citing the “excessive” number of crew on board, including Iranian nationals.
The 19-member crew, consisting of Venezuelans and Iranians, was initially detained but later released. The U.S. had suspected one of the Iranians on board of having links to the Al Quds Force, a group classified as a terrorist organization. The U.S. also claimed that selling the Boeing 747 from Iran’s Mahan Air (W5) to Emtrasur violated its sanctions against both countries.
Venezuela and Iran protested against U.S. attempts to seize the plane and sought support from Argentina. However, on January 4, 2024, Judge Federico Villena ordered the plane to be surrendered to the U.S. after having been grounded in Argentina for 18 months, a decision Venezuela criticized as theft.
Luisa Cáceres Díaz de Arismendi
Named Luisa Cáceres Díaz de Arismendi, a heroine of the Venezuelan Independence, the Boeing 747-3B3M was transferred from W5 to Conviasa (V0) in January 2022 after undergoing maintenance in Iran, where it also received its livery—large CARGO EMTRASUR title over a white fuselage and a blue tail without a logo. The aircraft started service with French carrier UTA (UT) in 1986, transferred to Air France (AF) in 1992, and sold to W5 in 2007.
The 747-300M has cargo capacity in the rear portion of the main deck, similar to the -200M, but with the stretched upper deck, it can carry more passengers. The aircraft is a 747-300 Combi, which means it can carry passengers as an airliner or cargo as a freighter. It may also have a partition in the aircraft cabin to allow both uses simultaneously in a mixed passenger/freight combination, hence its name.
Emtrasur is a subsidiary of the Venezuelan state-owned Conviasa (V0), the country’s flag carrier. The new startup company was established in November 2020 to plan, manage, and control air cargo and mail operations domestically and internationally.
This is a developing story.