New ATRs Boost Iran Air Expansion

Travel & Environment Desk
The deal with ATR has allowed Iran Air to restart routes that had been grounded for years, such as the Tehran-Noshahr route
A graphic depiction of Iran Air’s new ATR-operated routes (Design: Sepehr Arefmanesh)
A graphic depiction of Iran Air’s new ATR-operated routes (Design: Sepehr Arefmanesh)

Iranian flag carrier Iran Air has launched new domestic routes after taking delivery of its first four ATR airplanes last month, the company announced on its official Telegram channel.

Due to an aging fleet that grounded many of the company’s airplanes, Iran Air had been forced to reduce the frequency of flights on certain domestic routes or cancel some routes altogether, including the Tehran-Noshahr route last operated in 1995.

However, the purchase of the 70-seat ATR 72-600s has breathed fresh life into the airline’s ambitions for domestic expansion. Iran Air Chairman Farhad Parvaresh had told Reuters last month that the company “aims to cover a populous arc in Iran’s northwest and northeast” but stopped short of disclosing specific destinations.

Iran Air flights using the four brand new ATRs (Graphic Financial Tribune)

Parvaresh had also said that the goal is to connect smaller cities to metropolises, which could only become possible with the purchase of small planes that could land in tiny airports.

With the airline expecting to receive five more ATRs by the end of the year and another 11 by the end of 2018, Iran Air’s plan to dominate the domestic air travel market is well on track.

Milco Rappuouli, the sales director for ATR’s Middle East operations, told Financial Tribune last month that the Franco-Italian company is in talks with other Iranian airlines to sell its short-range aircraft. This is good news for travelers, as it means better regional connectivity and more competitive airfares.

As part of the deal, ATR, which is co-owned by France’s Airbus and the Italian company Leonardo, is holding a training program for Iran Air’s pilots and engineers.

The frequency of flights on each route can be found in the table below. 



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