On January 8, 2020, Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was shot down minutes after taking off from Tehran, Iran, by an Iranian surface-to-air missile. Fifty-five Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents were among the 176 people killed in this national tragedy. Canada’s priority is to provide the families and loved ones of the victims with the support they need.

Canada continues to work with international partners to ensure a thorough and credible investigation into this tragedy, and hold Iran accountable for its violations of international law. An International Coordination and Response Group to support families of victims of PS752 was formed by Afghanistan, Canada, Sweden, Ukraine and the United Kingdom to ensure a full and transparent investigation into the causes of the fatal crash and coordinate legal efforts to pursue accountability and reparations from Iran so that families and loved ones may get the answers they deserve.

Special Advisor for Canada’s ongoing response to the Ukraine International Airlines tragedy

On March 31, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed the Honourable Ralph Goodale as his special advisor to:

  • examine lessons learned from the crash of Flight PS752 and other air disasters
  • develop a framework to guide Canada’s responses to international air disasters
  • provide recommendations on best practices, including advice on tools and mechanisms needed to prevent future events

On December 15, 2020, Mr. Goodale released the report Flight PS752: The long road to transparency, accountability and justice. It examines what happened to PS752 and provides a summary of the Government of Canada’s response, a chronology of events and Mr. Goodale’s recommendations on best practices.

Assistance for families of victims

Canada’s Emergency Watch and Response Centre provided emergency support to the families of the crash victims during the crisis. Global Affairs Canada’s PS752 task force also has regular conference calls with families to keep them up to date on the situation.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada set up a dedicated email address to provide assistance to family members of the victims who needed to travel to Iran and required travel documents on an urgent basis or who needed to remain in Canada temporarily.

Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) arranged for bereavement counselling to be provided to family members of victims.

Health Canada put in place a free and confidential 24/7 Crisis and Counselling Support Line for the many families experiencing grief and loss as a result of this tragedy. Family members in Canada could call to request support from a mental health professional or receive referrals to resources in their community. This support line was also available to close friends of victims as well as any impacted community organizations based in Canada.

The RCMP coordinated efforts with local police across the country to offer support to all family members upon their return to Canada.

Financial assistance

The Government of Canada gave families of the victims who are Canadian citizens and permanent residents $25,000 per victim to assist with their immediate needs. Canada is also working with its international partners, including through the International Coordination and Response Group, to ensure that families are compensated according to the liability provisions established under international law.

On January 22, 2020, the Government of Canada announced it would match donations made to the Canada Strong campaign up to $1.5 million. This fund was developed to support families of the victims as they navigate through the long-term impacts of these tragic losses. The matching of donations ended on February 21, 2020, with over $1.7 million raised. Through donations and federal matching funds, this national campaign raised a total of $3.29 million to help the families of the victims of Flight PS752.

Investigations

Canada is working with its allies to advocate for thorough and credible investigations to uncover the causes of this terrible tragedy, to bring transparency, accountability and justice to Canadians and to help families seek closure as they continue to grieve.

Safety investigation

The government of Iran has said that the Ukraine International Airlines was brought down by surface-to-air missiles. As the accident occurred in Iran, the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau of the Islamic Republic of Iran (AAIB) is the lead on the safety investigation. The following countries are also participating in the safety investigation:

  • Ukraine, as the state of the aircraft operator
  • the United States, as the state of the aircraft’s design and manufacture
  • France, as the state of the engine’s design and manufacture (in collaboration with the United States)

Since learning of the accident, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has been in direct contact with the AAIB. Given the high number of Canadian fatalities, the TSB has “expert” status in this investigation, in accordance with Annex 13 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation. Expert status does not allow active participation in the investigation. At Iran’s invitation, the TSB visited the accident site and examined the aircraft wreckage.

On June 26, 2020, at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council meeting, Iran formally committed to the download of the flight recorders of Flight PS752 at France’s Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la sécurité de l’aviation civile.

The TSB was invited to take part in the download of the flight recorders. A team of TSB investigators, including recorder specialists, participated in this technical process in Paris, France, the week of July 20, 2020. Data from these flight recorders was successfully downloaded and preliminary analysis was carried out.

The download and analysis of flight recorders is part of any aircraft investigation and assists experts in building a complete and factual sequence of events.

The download and analysis of flight recorders is part of any aircraft investigation and assists experts in building a complete and factual sequence of events.

For more information on the TSB and Canada’s role in the safety investigation, see Air transportation safety investigation A20F0002.

Criminal investigation

Canada and the other members of the International Coordination and Response Group for the victims of Flight PS752 have called for accountability for those responsible for the tragedy through an independent criminal investigation followed by transparent and impartial judicial proceedings that conform to international standards of due process and human rights.

Representatives of RCMP Federal Policing National Security are engaged with their Ukrainian counterparts to determine the best methods to support the Prosecutor General of Ukraine’s investigation into the matter under Ukraine’s criminal law. The RCMP is undertaking investigative steps to preserve any evidence that may reside in Canada.

The path to justice

On January 16, 2020, Canada and its International Coordination and Response Group partners created a legal subcommittee to coordinate their efforts to hold Iran accountable for its violations of international law. The goal of the legal subcommittee is to obtain justice for the victims, the families and the affected states. A dedicated team of lawyers from Global Affairs Canada and the Department of Justice Canada has been working with its legal subcommittee counterparts in advance of negotiations with Iran on reparations.

On July 2, 2020, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and his counterparts from Afghanistan, Sweden, Ukraine and the United Kingdom signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation regarding negotiations on full reparations by Iran. This important step reflects the commitment of all five nations to work together as a united front toward the goal of securing justice for the victims, and formalized how the International Coordination and Response Group will cooperate prior to, and during, the negotiations.

Canada and these nations are now working toward the development of a common negotiation position establishing the framework for unified legal positions. The common negotiation position reflects the five nations’ efforts to ensure that consensus is achieved in our understanding of all key principles of international law principles in advance of our negotiations with Iran on reparations. The development of common positions is a vital step in holding Iran accountable for its violations of international law and obtaining justice.

Safer Skies Strategy

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on February 14, 2020, that Canada is developing a Safer Skies Strategy, which will bring together partners to establish a common set of practices to better protect passengers from the risk of flying in or near foreign conflict zones. The implementation of this strategy will help improve aviation safety and prevent tragedies like Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 from ever happening again.

As part of the Safer Skies Strategy, Canada has established its own Conflict Zone Information Office after closely studying international best practices. This office will enhance Canada’s ability to monitor foreign conflict zones and to rapidly warn air operators of new or emerging risks.

Internationally, Canada is facilitating the realization of key initiatives under the Safer Skies Strategy, including the following:

  • The Safer Skies Consultative Committee (SSCC) was established to ensure continued progress is made toward mitigating the risks posed by conflict zones on a global level. It is comprised of subject-matter experts from key states, organizations and industry partners.
  • The Safer Skies Forums held its first annual forum, hosted virtually by Transport Canada on December 8 and 9, 2020, to bring together like-minded states, industry and international organizations to help share best practices related to conflict zone risk mitigation, building global consensus and promoting capacity building with international partners. In addition to supporting ongoing efforts to improve the international regime related to civil aviation and conflict zones, Canada is leading efforts and vocalizing support for the ICAO to advance the widespread and effective implementation of relevant standards and recommended practices for conflict zones.

At the beginning of 2020, Canada spearheaded the development of a working paper calling on the ICAO Secretariat to conduct a comprehensive gap analysis of the risks conflict zones pose to civil aviation and propose a way forward. Canada is working on the gaps analysis. In addition, Canada’s Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, has on three separate occasions intervened at the ICAO on matters related to protecting global civil aviation from the risks associated with conflict zones.

Flight restrictions

The Government of Canada is monitoring the situation closely in the Middle East and is in close contact with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and other international partners.

For more information and updates on the security situation in Iran, consult Canada’s travel advice and advisories.

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DateNews typeInstitutionStatements
2021-01-08StatementsGlobal Affairs Canada

Commemoration of Flight PS752 tragedy

Date: 2021-01-08

News type: Statements

Institution: Global Affairs Canada

2021-01-08StatementsPrime Minister of Canada

Statement by the Prime Minister on the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Air Disasters

Date: 2021-01-08

News type: Statements

Institution: Prime Minister of Canada

2021-01-08StatementsPrime Minister of Canada

Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada to mark the first anniversary of the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752

Date: 2021-01-08

News type: Statements

Institution: Prime Minister of Canada

2021-01-07StatementsGlobal Affairs Canada

Statement from International Coordination and Response Group for the victims of Flight PS752 marking one year since the tragic downing of Flight PS752

Date: 2021-01-07

News type: Statements

Institution: Global Affairs Canada

2020-12-23StatementsPrime Minister of Canada

Statement by the Prime Minister announcing National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Air Disasters

Date: 2020-12-23

News type: Statements

Institution: Prime Minister of Canada

2020-12-15StatementsPrime Minister of Canada

Prime Minister welcomes report from Special Advisor for Canada’s ongoing response to Iran’s shooting-down of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752

Date: 2020-12-15

News type: Statements

Institution: Prime Minister of Canada

2020-10-27StatementsGlobal Affairs Canada

Joint Statement from the International Coordination and Response Group for the victims of Flight PS752

Date: 2020-10-27

News type: Statements

Institution: Global Affairs Canada

2020-10-02News releasesGlobal Affairs Canada, Transport Canada

Forensic team to support Canada’s ongoing response to Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 tragedy

Date: 2020-10-02

News type: News releases

Institution: Global Affairs Canada, Transport Canada

2020-08-23StatementsTransport Canada

Statement by the Minister of Transport and the Minister of Foreign Affairs concerning the release of Ukrainian Airlines Flight 752’s voice/data recorder read out report by the Civil Aviation Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Date: 2020-08-23

News type: Statements

Institution: Transport Canada

2020-07-30ReadoutsGlobal Affairs Canada

Readout: First meeting of the International Coordination and Response Group and Iran regarding negotiations on reparations related to the downing of Flight PS752

Date: 2020-07-30

News type: Readouts

Institution: Global Affairs Canada

2020-07-23News releasesTransportation Safety Board of Canada

TSB confirms completion of download and preliminary analysis of recorders from Ukraine International Airlines flight 752

Date: 2020-07-23

News type: News releases

Institution: Transportation Safety Board of Canada

2020-07-20StatementsGlobal Affairs Canada

Statement from International Coordination and Response Group for the victims of Flight PS752 on Iran delivering flight recorders

Date: 2020-07-20

News type: Statements

Institution: Global Affairs Canada

2020-07-02ReadoutsGlobal Affairs Canada

Readout: Call of the International Coordination and Response Group for the victims of Flight PS752

Date: 2020-07-02

News type: Readouts

Institution: Global Affairs Canada

2020-06-26StatementsGlobal Affairs Canada

Statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Transport on Iran’s decision to send Flight PS752 black boxes to France

Date: 2020-06-26

News type: Statements

Institution: Global Affairs Canada

2020-06-22ReadoutsGlobal Affairs Canada

Readout: Minister Champagne holds call with Iranian Foreign Minister regarding PS752

Date: 2020-06-22

News type: Readouts

Institution: Global Affairs Canada

2020-06-17StatementsTransport Canada

Minister of Transport’s motion in the House of Commons on Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752

Date: 2020-06-17

News type: Statements

Institution: Transport Canada

2020-04-16StatementsGlobal Affairs Canada

International Coordination and Response Group for victims of Flight PS752: 100 days since tragedy

Date: 2020-04-16

News type: Statements

Institution: Global Affairs Canada

2020-04-16StatementsGlobal Affairs Canada

Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Transport marking 100 days since the tragedy of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752

Date: 2020-04-16

News type: Statements

Institution: Global Affairs Canada

2020-03-31News releaseGlobal Affairs Canada

The Prime Minister announces Special Advisor for Canada’s ongoing response to the Ukraine International Airlines tragedy

Date: 2020-03-31

News type: News release

Institution: Global Affairs Canada

2020-03-04ReadoutsGlobal Affairs Canada

Readout: Call of the International Coordination and Response Group for the victims of Flight PS752

Date: 2020-03-04

News type: Readouts

Institution: Global Affairs Canada

2020-02-16News releasesGlobal Affairs Canada

Minister Champagne concludes meetings with ministerial counterparts at Munich Security Conference

Date: 2020-02-16

News type: News releases

Institution: Global Affairs Canada

2020-02-15StatementsGlobal Affairs Canada

International Coordination and Response Group for the victims of Flight PS752: Advancing on the framework for cooperation with Iran

Date: 2020-02-15

News type: Statements

Institution: Global Affairs Canada

2020-02-14News releasesPrime Minister of Canada

Building a more secure and prosperous future: Prime Minister attends Munich Security Conference

Date: 2020-02-14

News type: News releases

Institution: Prime Minister of Canada

2020-02-14ReadoutsGlobal Affairs Canada

Readout: Minister of Foreign Affairs meets with Iran’s foreign minister

Date: 2020-02-14

News type: Readouts

Institution: Global Affairs Canada

2020-02-05ReadoutsGlobal Affairs Canada

Readout: Minister of Foreign Affairs speaks with Iran’s Minister of Foreign Affairs

Date: 2020-02-05

News type: Readouts

Institution: Global Affairs Canada

2020-02-04ReadoutsGlobal Affairs Canada

Readout: Call of International Coordination and Response Group for the victims of PS752

Date: 2020-02-04

News type: Readouts

Institution: Global Affairs Canada

2020-01-27News releasesDepartment of Justice Canada

Government of Canada working with Pro Bono Ontario to offer legal assistance across Canada to families of Canadian victims of Flight PS752

Date: 2020-01-27

News type: News releases

Institution: Department of Justice Canada

2020-01-23StatementsTransportation Safety Board of Canada

Status and next steps in the PS752 safety investigation

Date: 2020-01-23

News type: Statements

Institution: Transportation Safety Board of Canada

2020-01-22ReadoutsPrime Minister of Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey

Date: 2020-01-22

News type: Readouts

Institution: Prime Minister of Canada

2020-01-20ReadoutsGlobal Affairs Canada

Call of International Coordination and Response Group for victims of PS752

Date: 2020-01-20

News type: Readouts

Institution: Global Affairs Canada

2020-01-17ReadoutsGlobal Affairs Canada

Minister Champagne meets with his Iranian counterpart

Date: 2020-01-17

News type: Readouts

Institution: Global Affairs Canada

2020-01-16NoticesImmigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Special measures to help assist with urgent travel related to flight PS752

Date: 2020-01-16

News type: Notices

Institution: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

2020-01-16StatementsGlobal Affairs Canada

International Coordination and Response Group for the victims of Flight PS752 – Framework for Cooperation with Iran

Date: 2020-01-16

News type: Statements

Institution: Global Affairs Canada

2020-01-15Media advisoriesGlobal Affairs Canada

Itinerary for Minister of Foreign Affairs for Thursday, January 16, 2020

Date: 2020-01-15

News type: Media advisories

Institution: Global Affairs Canada

2020-01-15Media advisoriesTransport Canada

Minister Garneau to provide an update on Canada’s actions with respect to the fatal plane crash in Iran

Date: 2020-01-15

News type: Media advisories

Institution: Transport Canada

2020-01-14ReadoutsPrime Minister of Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar

Date: 2020-01-14

News type: Readouts

Institution: Prime Minister of Canada

2020-01-14ReadoutsPrime Minister of Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Date: 2020-01-14

News type: Readouts

Institution: Prime Minister of Canada

2020-01-13Media advisoriesGlobal Affairs Canada

Media registration for meeting of International Coordination and Response Group in London, United Kingdom

Date: 2020-01-13

News type: Media advisories

Institution: Global Affairs Canada

2020-01-13News releasesTransportation Safety Board of Canada

TSB’s role in the investigation of Ukrainian Airlines flight 752

Date: 2020-01-13

News type: News releases

Institution: Transportation Safety Board of Canada

2020-01-12Media advisoriesTransportation Safety Board of Canada

Updated: TSB to hold a news conference on its role in the investigation of Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752

Date: 2020-01-12

News type: Media advisories

Institution: Transportation Safety Board of Canada

2020-01-12ReadoutsGlobal Affairs Canada

Readout: Call of International Coordination and Response Group for families of victims of PS752

Date: 2020-01-12

News type: Readouts

Institution: Global Affairs Canada

2020-01-11ReadoutsPrime Minister of Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Date: 2020-01-12

News type: Readouts

Institution: Prime Minister of Canada

2020-01-10News releasesGlobal Affairs Canada

Canada announces formation of International Coordination and Response Group for families of victims of PS752

Date: 2020-01-10

News type: News releases

Institution: Global Affairs Canada

2020-01-10ReadoutsGlobal Affairs Canada

Readout: Minister Champagne speaks to his US counterpart

Date: 2020-01-10

News type: Readouts

Institution: Global Affairs Canada

2020-01-10NoticesImmigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Special Measures to help assist with urgent travel related to flight PS752

Date: 2020-01-10

News type: Notices

Institution: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

2020-01-10StatementsTransportation Safety Board of Canada

TSB update on attendance at site of the 8 January 2020 accident involving Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752 in Tehran, Iran

Date: 2020-01-10

News type: Statements

Institution: Transportation Safety Board of Canada

2020-01-09ReadoutsPrime Minister of Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Date: 2020-01-09

News type: Readouts

Institution: Prime Minister of Canada

2020-01-09ReadoutsPrime Minister of Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Löfven

Date: 2020-01-09

News type: Readouts

Institution: Prime Minister of Canada

2020-01-09ReadoutsPrime Minister of Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte

Date: 2020-01-09

News type: Readouts

Institution: Prime Minister of Canada

2020-01-09ReadoutsGlobal Affairs Canada

Readout: Foreign Affairs Minister speaks with Foreign Minister of Iran

Date: 2020-01-09

News type: Readouts

Institution: Global Affairs Canada

2020-01-09StatementsTransportation Safety Board of Canada

TSB update on the 8 January 2020 accident involving Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752 in Tehran, Iran

Date: 2020-01-09

News type: Statements

Institution: Transportation Safety Board of Canada

2020-01-08ReadoutsPrime Minister of Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with Emmanuel Macron, President of France

Date: 2020-01-08

News type: Readouts

Institution: Prime Minister of Canada

2020-01-08ReadoutsPrime Minister of Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump

Date: 2020-01-08

News type: Readouts

Institution: Prime Minister of Canada

2020-01-08ReadoutsPrime Minister of Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom

Date: 2020-01-08

News type: Readouts

Institution: Prime Minister of Canada

2020-01-08StatementsPrime Minister of Canada

Statement by the Prime Minister on the fatal plane crash in Iran

Date: 2020-01-08

News type: Statements

Institution: Prime Minister of Canada

2020-01-08StatementsGlobal Affairs Canada

Statement by Foreign Affairs Minister on Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752

Date: 2020-01-08

News type: Statements

Institution: Global Affairs Canada

2020-01-08StatementsTransportation Safety Board of Canada

TSB statement on the 8 January 2020 accident involving Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752 in Tehran, Iran

Date: 2020-01-08

News type: Statements

Institution: Transportation Safety Board of Canada

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