Friday, 10 July, 2020

Iran to receive first ATR passenger aircraft in a week

Iran’s flag carrier Homa will import the first ATR passenger aircraft in one week, Homa CEO Farhad Parvaresh said.

According to Parvaresh, this will be the first of four ATR aircraft that Homa is going to receive from the manufacturer, Mehr news agency reported May 8.

He said that all four airplanes will be used for short, domestic flights.

Homa and the French-Italian ATR signed a document for the supply of over 20 airplanes in April.

Iran has added 28 aircraft to its aviation fleet over the last two years, an official with the country’s Civil Aviation Organization said on April 28.

Reza Jafarzadeh, a spokesman for Civil Aviation Organization of Iran, has said the number of available seats in the country’s aviation fleet has increased by 2,678 reaching 30,000 after new aircraft joined the aviation system.

In order to renew its aviation fleet, Iran requires 500 new aircraft in the next 10 years.

The country has already reached deals with Airbus and Boeing as well to purchase new aircraft.

Iranian Airline to Resume Direct Flights to Belgium

The Iranian Qeshm Air will resume its flight from Tehran to Brussels and vice versa, airline’s Managing Director Mahmoud Shekarabi announced.

“The move will be considered as a step towards the expansion of tourism relations with Europe,” Shekarabi said in a meeting with Belgian Ambassador to Tehran François Delhaye.

According to Fars News, he reiterated that the direct flights between Iran and Belgium will be launched in the near future.

“The aim of launching new air route is to expand Qeshm Air’s flights to Europe, Shekarabi said, adding, “Belgium is a country which is located at the center of Europe and therefore, enjoys a special strategic significance.”

The Belgian ambassador, for his part, said that Iran enjoys high capacities to attract foreign tourists.

“The Belgian people welcome establishment of the direct flights between Brussels and Tehran,” Delhaye said.

He underlined that Tehran-Brussels air route will have positive impact on the development of bilateral relations, specially in the areas of tourism, investment and economy.

In late October, Tehran and Brussels signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to broaden their bilateral ties in economic and trade fields.

The MoU was signed between Head of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization Mojtaba Khosrotaj and visiting Belgian trade delegation in Tehran.

“The volume of trade exchanges between Iran and Belgium nearly hit $200 million which we hope it would grow due to Belgium’s high potentials,” Khosrotaj said.

He said that the MoU aims to broaden scientific, technological and infrastructural cooperation between Iranian and Belgian firms.

The MoU has made a framework on developing investment and trade cooperation between the two countries.

The visiting Belgian economic-trade delegation comprises 200 representatives of 140 firms; the first economic mission of Belgium in Iran in post-JCPOA era.

Iran in talks with UKEF for plane purchases

Iran is in talks with UK Export Finance (UKEF) to facilitate the financing of aircraft sales to state airline Iran Air.

Iran’s deputy transport minister, Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan, told Reuters that the deal was part of its pact with world powers to lift sanctions over its nuclear programme.

UKEF has tentatively offered backing for at least some Airbus jets built in the UK, France, Germany and Spain and could also offer some support for purchases from US rival Boeing.

“We have received some offers from UKEF, that are under review by Iran,” Kashan is reported as saying.

Iran Air is planning to purchase more than 180 jets from Airbus and Boeing.

Despite the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that was signed nearly two years ago, financing for big-ticket purchases remains tough to secure for Iranians as most western banks, nervous of unilateral sanctions retained by the US, are still refraining from offering the Iranians banking arrangements.

UKEF and Airbus declined to comment on the deal when approached by GTR.

Mahan Air seeks to expand Belt and Road routes

Mahan Air has seen increases in passenger numbers from countries along the Belt and Road initiative and has vowed to further develop the routes.

In March, the Iranian airline opened a new route linking Tehran to Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, as the latest Silk Road destination, the company said in a written reply to People’s Daily Online.

Mahan was established as the first private airline in Iran in 1992, and it is also the nation’s largest airline. The company opened direct flights to Shanghai and Guangzhou in 2011 and 2013, respectively. It opened a route to Beijing, marking the third destination in China, in 2014.

Since 2014, Mahan Air’s operations in countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt have witnessed a substantial growth in terms of passenger numbers and number of flights, with the exception of Turkey, said Hossein Hosseini, Director of Marketing & Route Development for Mahan Air.

“We are planning to commence flights to Georgia, pending governmental approval. We are also looking into expanding our presence in China, as demand picks up,” said Hosseini.

In 2013, the routes linking Shanghai and Guangzhou with Tehran saw 75,000 trips, the company revealed in an earlier interview in 2014. The company supports the Belt and Road initiative, saying it will bring prosperity to countries and the company as well.


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