Last Saturday, IranAir took delivery of its second Airbus A330-200 (EP-IJB) and third Airbus from the 100-aircraft agreement sealed in December 2016. Similar to the two previous deliveries (A321 EP-IFA, A330 EP-IJA), the recent A330 was originally ordered by Avianca but never taken up. IranAir decided to take delivery of these three aircraft to speed up the delivery and fleet renewal process.
The aircraft has since its manufactured year in 2014 not performed any commercial flights, something the national carrier’s CEO and Chairman Farhad Parvaresh once again was compelled to explain to the public after falsehoods spread by media.
“The aircraft [Airbus A330-200, EP-IJB] has flown a total of 11 hours, 11 hours only for training! The new aircraft was formally handed over to IranAir on Friday [24 March 2017] and has never before been delivered to any other country”, IranAir’s CEO and Chairman Farhad Parvaresh was quoted as saying by Iran Newspaper.
During last weekend’s delivery ceremony at Tehran-Mehrabad Airport, Farhad Parvaresh said that IranAir expects to add four Airbus A320s during 2017 and another five Airbus A321s in 2018, according to a report by Iran’s Ministry of Roads and Urban Development. In 2018, IranAir is also set to receive its first aircraft from the Boeing order.
In an earlier statement, the CEO had stated that the four Airbus A320s would arrive in the third quarter of 2017. However, he made clear that the plans may change if unforeseen events occur just like the delayed delivery of the second A330 due to financial issues. The aircraft was originally planned to be delivered prior to 20 March 2017. Currently, IranAir is in the process of selecting preferences and seats for the new Airbus A320s expected to be delivered later this year.
The first delivered aircraft on 11 January 2017, an Airbus A321 (EP-IFA), has since its debut operated flights to both domestic and international destinations. Until 24 March 2017, the aircraft had flown some 650 hours and served around 50,000 passengers. The second delivered aircraft on 10 March 2017, an Airbus A330 (EP-IJA), had until the same day flown some 90 flights and served around 20,000 passengers.
The second A330, delivered last weekend, is planned to perform some 150 flights to domestic destinations during Nowruz both to serve the high passenger number and for training purposes. At the time of writing, the A330 (EP-IJB) has not yet started operations.
After the Nowruz season, IranAir plans to deploy the Airbus A330s on European routes from Tehran-Imam Khomeini Airport and in late-May 2017 on Far East routes. The national carrier has been forced to cancel its routes to the Far East due to the lack of aircraft but hopes to initially resume flights from Tehran to Beijing and Kuala Lumpur with the addition of these new widebody aircraft.
As previously reported, IranAir announced the delay of ATR deliveries due to a row with Canada and called on ATR to settle the conflict. Last week, Farhad Parvaresh did not mention the row regarding the engines but shifted focus to another main issue, assurance. Accordingly, Iran has not yet received ATR’s full assurance on whether IranAir will able to access to obtain spare parts and attend training courses.
While being in Toulouse for the delivery of the new Airbus A330, IranAir’s Farhad Parvaresh held a meeting with ATR about the situation. Furthermore, ATR representatives have scheduled a visit to Tehran in two weeks, according to IRNA.
Photo: Airbus Group