IranAir awaits the delivery of several aircraft, up to six aircraft were planned to be delivered prior to the Iranian New Year in late March 2017. The very first delivery, from the 100-aircraft Airbus order, took place in January 2017 when an Airbus A321 landed at Tehran-Mehrabad Airport. Nowadays, the A321 operates both international and domestic routes and the presence of a new aircraft is welcomed by many. Bushehr Airport reports that the poor on-time record held by IranAir’s flights to Tehran has seen a favourable turn since the A321’s arrival, according to IRNA.
The Ministry of Roads and Urban Development had previously reported that two Airbus A330s and four ATR 72-600s were planned to be delivered ahead of the Iranian New Year. All of the six aircraft are visually ready for delivery, however, the formal details are slowing down the progress.
According to IranAir, two Airbus A330s are planned to be delivered prior to 20 March 2017, instead of late February 2017 claimed by the CEO in a previous statement.
However, no ATRs are expected to be delivered soon. In an interview to Farsnews, Iran’s Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan says that the delivery has been delayed due to the engine agreement. The so far unsigned agreement with Pratt & Whitney Canada, the manufacturer of the ATR 72-600’s PW127M engine, has been a major factor for the delay due to its complications. This has prevented the parties from finalising the deal and thereby delayed the deliveries, in contrast to a number of reports claiming the finalisation of a deal in February 2017. The main issues are regarding the Canadian company’s conditions regarding spare parts and support. The type of support was undefined.
In addition to the complicated case with the Canadian manufacturer, formalities and training for the new aircraft type have contributed to the delay. IranAir’s CEO predicts that an agreement will not be finalised until the end of March 2017 and calls on ATR to settle the row with Pratt & Whitney Canada. The initial agreement with ATR was signed in February 2016.
The ATR 72-600s are planned to be deployed on domestic routes and the ambition was to do so ahead of the high-season Iranian New Year starting in a few days. In October 2016, Arak was chosen to become one of the ATR 72-600’s base. This week, Birjand Airport reported that they are in talks to become the base of either IranAir’s new ATR or ATA Airlines’ Boeing B737.
Photo: DigitalAirliners.com (used with special permission)