While the Iranian Government should be held accountable for shooting down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 on January 8, the airline also bears responsibility, according to one of the world’s leading aviation lawyers who has represented passengers and families of every major air disaster over the past three decades.

Floyd Wisner, of Chicago-based Wisner Law Firm, says it was an irresponsible and ultimately fatal decision to allow Flight 752 to depart Tehran when there were wartime hostilities present in the immediate area.

Mr Wisner said Ukraine International Airlines clearly didn’t learn from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was shot down over Ukraine by separatist forces on July 17, 2014.

“I am not suggesting that the shooting down of the Ukrainian plane was anyone but Iran’s fault, and the Iranian Government has admitted to the actions of their military. However I am not referring to fault, but responsibility.

“The airline had a responsibility to its passengers to put safety first.”

Wisner Law firm, together with Stewarts Law in London, represented the families of many of the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

The law firms obtained compensation for their clients from the airline, based upon the argument that Malaysia Airlines should not have been operating its flight over the conflict zone.

Following this incident, the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation issued a joint statement which read in part: “the MH17 incident has raised troubling concerns with respect to civilian aircraft operating to, from and over conflict zones.”

Mr Wisner said that ultimately the decision to fly is made by the airline, “and in this case Ukraine International Airlines did not heed the lessons which should have been learned from the tragedy of MH 17, and now tragically 176 more lives have been lost.”

“Ukrainian Airlines bears responsibility to the families.”