Iran unlikely to try Russia airliners anymore
Tehran, Iran, August 4
By Temkin Jafarov, Mehdi Sepahvand -- Trend:
Iran's experience with Russian-made passenger aircraft has not been a good one, therefore it is unlikely that Iranian aviation companies would try to use Russian airplanes anymore, an Iranian official said.
Economic calculations and Iran's bad experience with Russian Tupolev airplanes make it more likely that Iranian aviation companies would seek Airbus and Boeing products more, Maqsoud Samani Assadi, secretary of Iran's Airlines Association said in an exclusive interview with Trend August 2.
He pointed out that when buying airplanes, airline companies take into account a diverse set of criteria such as flight record, safety, after-sale service, spare parts availability, repair, education, passenger convenience, etc.
Having in mind the good record that Airbus and Boeing have in maintenance, repair, and staff education, and since Iranians are happy with products and services offered by these companies, it is more likely that Iranian civil aviation companies will be willing to buy aircraft from these two companies, he noted.
Iran has estimated that it needs about 580 civil aircraft in various sizes by 2025.
Assadi said naturally companies that have a brighter record of cooperation with Iran will be top on agenda for Iranian companies to buy aircraft from.
Nonetheless, the aircraft that are going to be brought into the country would need to be checked and approved by the Iranian Civil Aviation Organization.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the official said despite economic sanctions, Iran has managed to improve its civil aviation fleet.
"We had a growth of over 10 percent in terms of the fleet size. In the emerging situations, also, the companies will provide for their needs according to the contacts and relations they have," he said.
The aviation industry is one of the areas hit worse by long-lasting sanctions against Iran. Iran's four largest carriers - Iran Air, Aseman Airlines, Mahan Air and Iran Air Tours - all have average fleet age above 22 years, according to the Iranian media outlets.
Under sanctions, Iran started domestically assembling a model of passenger aircraft called Iran-140, which was a disaster in terms of safety.
The first fatal crash of Iran-140 occurred during a test flight in 2009, killing the five crews.
The deadliest crash occurred in August 2014, shortly after the plane's takeoff from Tehran Mehrabad International Airport. 40 people killed in the disaster.
Through a recent deal with world powers, Iran is expecting to be freed from the sanctions and renovate its aviation fleet.
Under the new deal, all restrictions related to the purchase, hire, transfer, as well as services and goods related to the engine and other airplane parts will be lifted.