Iran bans importing old planes

Business Materials 20 December 2014 13:44 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 20

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

The Islamic Republic has banned domestic airlines from importing or renting the planes older than 15 years, Iran's Tasnim news agency reported Dec. 20.

Previously there was no age-limitation for imported aircrafts, Iranian minister of roads and urban development, Abbas Ahmad Akhoundi said, adding airlines have imported planes even as old as 40 years.

He said that the new decision is aimed to renew the Islamic Republic's civil air fleet, which is one of the oldest in the world.

The National Development Fund (NDF) also will help the airlines on the issue, Akhoundi said.

The NDF is Iran's sovereign wealth fund and was established to transform oil and gas revenues to productive investment for future generation.

Back in November head of Iran Civil Aviation Organization Alireza Jahangirian said that the organization has issued license for aircraft imports by private sector investors.

The US-led sanctions on aircraft and spare parts exports to Iran have left the Iranian airlines saddled with not only some of the oldest fleet in the Middle East, but in the world.

Jahangirian said that the country needs at least 300 operational airplanes, while currently the country has only about 150, each of which are averagely 20 years old. The Islamic Republic also has 76 in storage with an average age of 24 years.

While Iran has attempted to kick start its own commercial aviation manufacturing industry and has also sourced aircraft from Russia and Ukraine, its efforts to acquire Western-made aircraft and spare parts have largely failed due to sanctions.