Flight Number Iran Air 655- not retired

30 years ago, on July 3, 1988, US Navy warship shot down a civilian aircraft belonging to Iran Air, that had flight number IR655 flying from Bandar Abbas to Dubai. US Navy mistook it for a F14 fighter jet and shot it down with two surface to air missiles. You can watch the entire episode on the youtube video below. More details on Wikipedia and this Washington post article.

However, I was surprised to see that Iran air has not retired the flight number. It is a normal practice for airlines to discontinue a flight number that has met with major accident. For example, there’s no longer MH370 or MH17 or AF447. These numbers are retired after the accident and some other numbers are used for flights on the same route. But IR655 is not retired. Iran air is using the number for flight between Dubai and Tehran- may be to keep the memory of the incident alive.

There were 10 Indian nationals onboard IR655 that was shot down.


  1. May be you can check with them the reason?

    1. Will try.. I guess they want to keep reminding everyone that US shot down 655


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