Iran Air eyes more western aircraft and a Sydney non-stop

by Andreas Spaeth
November 06, 2018
Iran Air
Credit: Andreas Spaeth

Iran Air still eyes western built aircraft and a Tehran Sydney non-stop service as US sanctions toughen.

Coinciding with what US President Donald Trump calls the “toughest sanctions of all times” being imposed on Iran, it emerges that state airline Iran Air still nurtures hopes to receive more Western aircraft.

READ Lion Air plane had the fault on four previous flights

A high-ranking source not wanting to be named tells that Iran Air expects to receive seven more ATR-72-600s from an order placed in 2016 for a total of 20 regional aircraft.

So far the airline received 13 ATRs. More couldn’t be delivered before the deadline on August 7 when the embargo for aircraft exports came into effect.

Credit: Andreas Spaeth

Iran Air also had ordered 100 Airbus aircraft in December 2016, of which only two A330-200s and one A321 have been delivered. The current status of the Airbus order is not known and the source talked to wouldn’t elaborate.

The European Union is currently looking for ways to enable European companies to fulfill existing contracts with Iran despite the US-led embargo.

Iran Air also wanted a similar number of Boeing. The order was for 50 737 MAX 8s, 15 777-300ERs and, 15 777-9Xs. Also, Iran Aseman Airlines ordered 30 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

The source also tells that the previously discussed flights from Tehran to Sydney are still on the agenda and are now supposed to be non-stop.

At the IATA AGM in Sydney in June, it was still intended to start them in the current European winter schedule, which didn’t materialize.

Andreas Spaeth

Iran Air eyes the substantial Iranian expat population in Australia with this route. Currently the only aircraft in the fleet up to the task of flying the route would be the two A330s, however, it would be very close to their range limit and would incur weight penalties depending on weather and direction.

The distance from Tehran to Sydney is about 12,900 km, while the typical range of the A330-200 carrying about 250 passengers is in the region of 13,400 km under the best of circumstances.