Azerbaijan, Baku, May 19/ Trend F.Karimov/
The Iranian civil aviation industry and the affiliated airlines are totally in the red, and if the current trend continues they may face bankruptcy, ISNA quoted the head of the association of Iranian airlines, Abdolreza Mousavi, as saying.
Last year, the domestic airlines increased ticket prices by maximum 75 percent in order to resolve their financial problems, but they faced a significant fall in the number of passengers, he noted.
In February, the Fars News agency quoted Mousavi, as saying that Iranian airlines are unable to pay off their fuel debts to the Oil Ministry due to their bad financial situation.
With the rising foreign currency exchange rates and the rising fuel prices, the goal of expanding passenger seats will never be realized, he added.
Many airplanes of the national fleet have been grounded due to financial problems, he said, adding that spare parts and components are purchased from second-hand sources with great difficulties.
Meanwhile, Iran plans to establish two new airlines in the current Iranian calendar year, which started on March 21, the Mehr News agency quoted Iranian Civil Aviation Organization head Hamidreza Pahlavani as saying on Friday.
He added that currently 18 airlines are in operation in Iran.
In January, Iran increased the price of fuel for international flights by 14,200 rials ($1.1) to 21,200 rials ($1.7), a triple rise within a week.
"The U.S. has been trying to ground the Iranian civil aviation industry for thirty years, but they could not. Instead, the Iranian administration grounded the industry within a week through increasing fuel prices by 14,200 rials," Mohammad Hassan Aboutorabi-Fard, deputy speaker of Iran's Majlis (parliament), commented.
The 60-70 percent increase in Iranian airlines ticket prices caused a 50 percent fall in the number of passengers.