Iran plans to expand air fleet

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Iranian aviation official said Iran plans to expand its passenger fleet following the interim deal signed between Iran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, France and Britain plus Germany) in Geneva in November 2013.

Managing Director of Iran’s Airports Company Mohammad Ali Ilkhani said following the Geneva deal, the country has “bought 100 passenger planes and renovated another 150 planes”.

He noted that the positive atmosphere in talks with the world powers is a suitable opportunity for the country’s aviation industry to start expansion of its air fleet.

In May, a senior aviation official announced that Iranian airlines plan to equip their passenger fleet with modern airplanes.

“The National Development Fund of Iran has allocated $500 million to purchase new passenger planes, and initial agreement has been obtained for another $500 million to buy aircraft and related spare parts,” Head of the Civil Aviation Organization of Iran Alireza Jahangirian said.

He noted that under the country’s 20-Year Vision Plan, which runs until March 2025, the Iranian air transportation industry needs 400 passenger planes, meaning that Iranian airlines should buy 40 aircraft every year.

In October 2013, Managing Director of Iran Aseman Airlines Abbas Rahmatiyan announced that plans “are underway” to develop his airline and expand its activities in most parts of the country, Middle East region and also increase its flights to the European destinations.

“We have plans to use new airplanes for long-distance flights and in this regard we are thinking of long-range airplanes,” he said, adding, “The fleet of Iran Aseman Airlines now has 33 airplanes.

In April 2013, Iran announced that its national carrier, Iran Air (Homa), added six new passenger planes to its fleet in the last Iranian year (ended March 20).

Since 2010 Iran has started a plan to renew its air fleet not only through purchase of foreign planes, but also through domestic production in a bid to improve conditions in its aviation industry.

Iran announced last year that it aims to fly its first Antonov-158 jointly built in joint cooperation with Ukraine’s Antonov company in 2013.

The new air vehicle with a seating capacity of 100 passengers will be the next generation of Iran-140 airplane.

After purchasing the production license for the Antonov-140 from Ukraine in 2000, Iran built its first Iran-140 passenger plane in 2003.

The first IRAN-140 aircraft was introduced by Iran in 2003. Five domestically-manufactured IRAN-140 planes were completed in October 2008 to increase the country’s transportation capacity and upgrade the Iranian passenger fleet.

The IRAN-140 is a double-engine turboprop aircraft which can fly almost 1,865 miles before refueling and its passenger model seats 52 people.

By Fars News Agency


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