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Iran Air to Launch Regional Airline With New ATRs

Iran Air's brand-new ATR turboprop - Tehran Mehrabad International Airport - Photo: Sadra MosalaIran Air's brand-new ATR turboprop - Tehran Mehrabad International Airport - Photo: Sadra Mosala

Iran Air is to launch a new subsidiary airline to regional countries under the title “IranAir Regional”, said the company’s chief executive officer.

According to Farzaneh Sharafbafi, Iran’s flag-carrier is to launch the service to neighboring countries using the recently delivered ATR 72-600 aircrafts, Iranair.com reported.

Earlier in September, Sharafbafi had said the flag carrier had plans to use its ATR fleet in Ardebil-Baku and Ardebil-Van flights in near future.

Sources familiar with the issue told the Financial Tribune that the regional airline is set to be based in Tehran, Mashhad, Rasht, Bandar Abbas and Ahvaz, though the plan is not finalized yet.

“The aircrafts could also be used for domestic flights,” Sharafbafi said.

Last April, Iran’s national carrier, Iran Air, signed a firm order with the French company Aerei da Trasporto Regionale (ATR) to purchase 20 ATR 72-600s.

In mid-May, Iran Air took delivery of four brand new ATR aircrafts in Toulouse and two other aircrafts were delivered on Sept. 28. The remaining ATRs will be delivered by the end of 2018.

Iran Air has rushed to modernize its fleet following the relief of international sanctions on Iran. Currently, the airline is flying a rapidly aging fleet of Airbus, Fokker and McDonald Douglas aircraft.

However, as more new aircrafts are delivered, the airline will be able to continue developing by adding new routes and expanding the capacity of the existing ones.

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