Iran to add 39 airplanes to air fleet next year

Photo: Iran to add 39 airplanes to air fleet next year / Economy news

Azerbaijan, Baku, July 3/ Trend, R. Zamanov

The owner of Qeshm Air said that 39 airplanes will be added to the airlines' fleet next year.

Babak Zanjani also said that Sorinet Holding Company (which owns Qeshm Air) has invested some 20 trillion rials (some $1.63 billion based on the official rate of USD and $606 million based on the free market rate) in buying new airplanes in the past 3.5 years, the Mehr News Agency reported.

Qeshm air recently added 17 airplanes to its fleet.

According to Zanjani, his company previously bought 3 airplanes but failed to receive them. The money was not returned to the company either.

Babak Zanjani was backlisted by the United States on April 11, four months after the European Union blacklisted him. In an interview with BBC in March, Zanjani said that he had invested four billion euros in Iranian projects inside the country.

Although he talked about the sanctions, he didn't mention the period of time in which he transferred that amount of money to Iran. The mentioned amount nearly equals Iran's total absorbed foreign investment in 2012. Zanjani claims to have more than 60 companies abroad.

Head of Iran Civil Aviation Organization Hamidreza Pahlevani said in March that nineteen airplanes were added to Iran's air fleet last year.

He also said that Tehran plans to launch two new airlines by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (ends on March 20, 2014).

Commenting on licenses issued for the establishment of new airlines, the official said Iran aviation authorities have granted 18 new licenses to eligible companies last year, which are currently completing their air fleet.

Iran has several private and public airline companies in operation. The oldest is the state-run Iran Air, Press TV reported.

Due to imposed sanction on Iran, international companies are banned from selling aircraft or their spare parts to the country.

Iran is currently cooperating with Ukraine and Russia in the production and operation of the Antonov An-140 airliner, which can carry 52 passengers.

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

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