Iran has launched a new private airline despite American sanctions targeting the country’s civil aviation sector.
Senior government officials from Iran’s ministry of tourism attended a ceremony late on Friday to celebrate the launch of Yazd Air, a private airline which will be based in Yazd, a historic city in central Iran.
The ceremony came after a first flight by Yazd Air from the capital Tehran landed at Yazd’s Shahid Sadooghi airport.
The airline will use two Airbus A310s for flights to international destinations, which will include Najaf in Iraq, Dubai, Istanbul and Mumbai. Its fleet will also include two short-haul British Aerospace 146 planes for flights on domestic routes.
Press TV quoted the IRNA news agency as saying that private investors had provided some 10 trillion rials (nearly $22 million) for the launch of Yazd Air.
It said the company will rely on Iran’s second-largest airline Mahan Air for services in its first two months of operation and then will set up its own offices after recruiting some 70 staff members.
Head of the Iranian parliament’s tourism committee Mohammad Reza Dashti said Yazd Air has major expansion plans to become one of the most reliable airlines in Iran.
The launch of Yazd Air comes despite a series of unprecedented sanctions imposed by the US on the Iranian aviation industry.
The sanctions have barred Iranian airlines from buying new planes or parts needed for aircraft repair.