Domestic Economy

Iran Air Looks to Unground 7 Aircraft

Iran Air Looks to Unground 7 Aircraft
Iran Air Looks to Unground 7 Aircraft

Iran Air has revealed plans to bring seven grounded aircraft back into service, thanks to the country's newfound domestic maintenance capabilities.
The airline hopes to have the aircraft in the skies once more within six months, Simple Flying wrote.
Iran Air's CEO Shamseddin Farzadipour was quoted as saying by ILNA, "Our priority is domestic repair, and seven planes will become airworthy in the next six months." 
He noted that the aircraft would likely be used on busy routes to Iraq, catering for the large market of Iranian pilgrims visiting holy sites in the neighboring country.


Struggling in the Face of Sanctions

As a result of sanctions that make repair work and sourcing spare parts more challenging, Iran Air has struggled to maintain its fleet of primarily Airbus aircraft. 
Thanks to a greater focus on domestic maintenance services over recent months, the airline now hopes to be in a position to return seven of its previously-grounded aircraft to the skies.
The airline did not state exactly which aircraft would be returning to service, though data from CH-aviation shows that nearly two-thirds of Iran Air's passenger fleet are currently grounded, including:
3 Airbus A300s
2 Airbus A310s
3 Airbus A319s
5 Airbus A320s
1 Airbus A321
2 Airbus A330-200s
13 ATR 72-600s.
Iran Air's active fleet of 11 passenger aircraft is left to operate the airline's route network across the Middle East, Asia and Europe. At the end of July, the carrier will increase the frequency of its longest route, Tehran to London Heathrow, from three to four per week. Iran Air's other intercontinental destinations include Milan, Paris and Hamburg.
Recognizing the need for investment in its aviation infrastructure, the Iranian government has put aside funds to support the country's airlines in their efforts to get their aircraft back in the skies. 
A number of other Iranian carriers have also reportedly managed to return aircraft to service, with Qeshm Air and Aseman Airlines bringing back an Airbus A320 and Boeing 737, respectively, in February this year.
In addition, the program has been expanded to offer maintenance and repair services to foreign airlines struggling with sanctions. Unconfirmed reports last year suggested that a number of Russian aircraft had already been in Iran for maintenance work.


Iran Air's Fleet Modernization

As well as bringing back older aircraft, Iran Air also intends to modernize its aging fleet, as the average age of the carrier's fleet stands at 25.7 years.
Iran Air has a number of outstanding orders with Airbus, including 32 A320neos, 28 A330neos and 16 A350s. The orders date back to 2016, but only a handful of aircraft were delivered before the US reimposed sanctions on Iran in 2018.

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