Iran Catching Up With Int’l Aviation Business

Domestic Economy Desk
Being on IATA’s board of governors highlights the return of Iran and its airlines into the wider aviation fold and allows them to positively influence policy that allows Iran and Iranian airlines to better compete internationally
Catching Up With Int’l Aviation Business
Catching Up With Int’l Aviation Business

The presence of Iran in global decision-making bodies will help the country safeguard its aviation interests, Iran Air's CEO said.

“The International Air Transport Association’s board members as well as those of International Civil Aviation Organization make the main decisions about the aviation sector and airline companies … For years, Iranian airlines have been deprived of this opportunity. This can give them another chance,” Farhad Parvaresh was  quoted as saying by ILNA.

“As sanctions against Iran were tightened, IATA put limits on our accessibility … But fortunately most of these limitations have been removed as a result of the JCPOA,” he added.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the official name of the landmark nuclear deal Iran reached with world powers. 

For Iran, the end of sanctions on its aviation sector means not only the possibility of purchasing new planes to revamp the domestic aging fleet but also a bargaining leverage in international policymaking arena that can help Iranian carriers compete fairly with their global counterparts.

While the removal of nuclear-related sanctions against Iran in January 2016, as part of the nuclear deal signed between Tehran and the world powers in 2015, threw a lifeline to Iran Air to help secure huge orders with global planemakers, it has also led to the election of Parvaresh as a member of IATA’s board of governors.

“Iranian airlines have nothing short of the carriers of regional countries whose executives are present in IATA’s board of governors. We can be present in this council and use our influence,” Parvaresh said.

His designation was decided during IATA’s 73rd Annual General Meeting held in Cancun, Mexico, on June 4-6. This is the first time an Iranian official has been acceded to the association since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

IATA is a trade association for world airlines, representing about 275 carriers accounting for 83% of total global air traffic. It has been led by Alexandre de Juniac, its director general and CEO, since September 2016.

“Being on IATA board of governors highlights the return of Iran and its airlines into the wider aviation fold and allows them to positively influence policy that allows Iran and Iranian airlines to better compete internationally,” Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at the Dubai-based Strategic Aero Research, told Financial Tribune.

The analyst says the membership gives Iran equal voice and representation for its aviation interests.  

“Without this, Iran would remain marginalized,” he said. “Given Iran’s nuclear deal, compliance and plans to buy new airplanes, being on the IATA board helps the country establish itself as a big player-not just regionally, but globally too.”

Parvaresh said he once had submitted a bid for membership, but it was rejected over “a series of reasons, including sanctions”.

The Iranian government has also decided to appoint the flag carrier’s CEO as Iran’s new permanent representative to ICAO, the Canada-based specialized agency of the United Nations, which codifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth.

Parvaresh was appointed to the state-owned Iran Air, otherwise known as Homa Company, in September 2009.

Since the implementation of the nuclear deal, the airline has signed tens of billions of dollars worth of deals with European planemaker Airbus, its American counterpart Boeing and Franco-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR to purchase some 200 planes.


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