Flag carrier IranAir has bought three 17-year-old Airbus A319s that originally belonged to Tajik Asia Sky Lines, the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture stated on its website on February 24.
In the face of US sanctions which have wrecked IranAir’s plans to acquire scores of planes from aircraft manufacturers including Airbus and Boeing, the carrier and other Iranian airlines have been scouring the markets for aeroplanes they can find ways to obtain. The three new planes bring IranAir’s number of operational aircraft up to 32, the airline said.
The three planes, coded EY-557, EY-558 and EY-559, have a colourful history. Official documents show that they were owned by Tajik Asia Sky Lines. A Hungarian dealer is believed to be behind the sale, some Iranian reports have stated.
The planes have been parked in Mashhad in northern Iran for the past several months, according to satellite imagery posted on a Twitter account called Aerospacetalk.
It is expected that the planes will presently be sent to be given IranAir livery before going operational within two months.
The delivery of the planes jars with comments lately made by Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami. He said Iran had become able to buy planes via “a special financial channel” and “very good ones” too.
The last delivery of new planes to Iran was ATR’s dispatching of 13 turboprop regional airliners to the country before sanctions were reimposed by the US last August.
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