First newly imported Airbus of Iranian airline to start flights
Baku, Azerbaijan, June 1
By Fatih Karimov - Trend: The first of eight newly imported Airbuses of the Iranian airline, Mahan Air, will start flights in the next two days.
The Airbus 300-600 will launch flights en route to Dubai and Istanbul, Iran's Fars news agency reported June 1.
The planes were imported in May and landed at Tehran's Mehrabad and Imam Khomeini airports, and Mashhad's Shahid Hasheminejad airport.
The airline will use the new Airbuses on Tehran-Dubai and Tehran-Istanbul routes, and then on longer routes.
The U.S. Treasury Department has said the airplanes have been designated as "blockable" interests, making it risky for Mahan Air to fly them on international routes.
The U.S. has imposed sanctions on Mahan Air three times since 2011 for allegedly shipping arms to the Syrian government; ferrying members of Iran's elite military unit, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps; and providing transport for the Lebanese militia Hezbollah.
The United States on May 21 imposed sanctions on two firms based in Iraq and in the United Arab Emirates for helping Iran purchase the second-hand civilian aircraft.
The U.S. Treasury said the sanctions applied to Iraq-based Al-Naser Airlines as well as UAE-based Sky Blue Bird Aviation for providing support to Iranian airline Mahan Air.
A long-standing ban on the export of aircraft spare parts to Iran was eased under an interim nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers in late 2013 but the sanctions regime continues to restrict sales of planes.
Maghsoud Asadi Samani, secretary of Iran's Aviation Companies Association said on May 10 that the planes are 12-13 years old.
The planes were bought from European countries and will increase the passenger capacity of Iran's civil aviation fleet by 3,000 seats.
Edited by CN