Iran should phase out 166 planes by next year: Minister

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – 166 Iranian passenger planes with an average age of 23 years need to be retired within a year, Iran’s Minister of Road and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi said.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the minister said Iran’s civil aviation fleet includes a total of 266 aircraft, 100 of which are now grounded.

Most of the other 166 planes in service have an average age of 23 years, and need to be retired by next year, he added.

According to the minister, Iran has only 12 passenger planes aged less than 16 years.

Akhoundi then made it clear that the country will need to have 551 planes by 2025.

He explained that negotiations with aerospace giant Boeing are underway for the purchase of passenger planes, in the same way that Iran reached a deal with Airbus.

On Sunday, Head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) Ali Abedzadeh said Tehran and US aircraft manufacturer Boeing have reached a deal for the purchase of 100 aircraft in a bid to upgrade the country’s aging fleet.

He added that the two sides are still in talks and that final figures and terms have yet to be decided.

Back in January, Iran signed a major deal worth $27 billion with aviation giant Airbus to purchase 118 planes. The deal with Airbus was sealed during a state visit to Paris by Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.

The Airbus jets include 45 A320 single-aisle aircraft, 45 A330 wide-bodies, 16 A350 twin-aisle aircraft, and 12 A380’s.

In February, President Rouhani unveiled plans for turning the country into a big power in the civil aviation industry in light of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a final nuclear deal between Tehran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).

By Tasnim News Agency