Economy, Business And Markets

Sharafbafi Officially Becomes Iran Air CEO

Following the Cabinet's approval on Wednesday, Farzaneh Sharafbafi officially took over as the chief executive of Iran Air, the country's flag carrier airline company, also known as Homa.

Sharafbafi is Iran Air’s first female chief executive officer and the first Iranian woman to boast a PhD in aerospace.

Before becoming the chairwoman of Iran Air, Sharafbafi was a board member of the airline serving as the head of Human Resources Development and Training Center.

In a ceremony held in July on the occasion of her becoming a caretaker of Iran Air, she announced plans to undertake "a comprehensive renovation and restructuring of Homa", including the hierarchical and technical structures, the company’s wage payment system and improvement of its management.

She replaced Farhad Parvaresh, who is now a member of the board of governors at the International Air Transport Association.

Sharafbafi said she would “improve the quality of Iran Air’s services to give the company a competitive edge at the regional and global scale … through cooperation with prominent global aviation companies”.

In the late 1970s, Homa used to be an unrivaled airline in the Middle East in terms of profitability and the second safest airline in the world. The airline was launched in 1961, following a merger between Iranian Airways—founded by private investors in the 40s—and Persian Air Services.

Shortly after the Islamic Revolution, Iran Air lost access to new planes, manuals, spare parts and services from global plane-makers. As its fleet aged, it lost international routes to emerging airlines in Turkey and Persian Gulf states. Restrictions toughened following international sanction imposed against Iran over its nuclear program.

The flag carrier secured massive orders from giant plane manufacturers after the conclusion of the nuclear deal Iran signed with world powers. Its orders include 100 Airbus, 80 Boeing and 20 ATR passenger planes, with an aggregate value of $20-30 billion, based on Iranian estimates. The list prices top $30 billion.

In an interview with Financial Tribune last week, Sharafbafi said the deal Iran Air has signed with the American planemaker Boeing won’t be affected, if the United Sates chooses to walk out of the nuclear deal.


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