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Iran National Airlines

About Iran National Airlines

Iran Air, branded as The Airline of the Islamic Republic of Iran (Persian, translit. Havâpeymâyiye Jomhuriye Eslâmiye Irân), is the flag carrier of Iran headquartered on the grounds of Mehrabad Airport in Tehran. As of 2018, it operates scheduled services to 71 destinations in Asia and Europe. Iran Air’s main bases are Imam Khomeini International Airport and Mehrabad Airport, both situated in Tehran, capital of Iran. Domestically, Iran Air is commonly known as Homa, which is the name of a mythical Persian griffin[18], and also the acronym of Iran National Airlines in the Persian language.

As a result of economic sanctions against Iran, Iran Air was unable to expand or replace its fleet.Last time Iran Air was delivered brand-new Western aircraft prior to the 2016 lifting of nuclear-related sanctions was in 1994 when it received two Airbus A300-B4s in compensation for the downing of Iran Air Flight 655 by an American cruiser in 1988. In 2001, Iran Air purchased 6 second-hand Airbus A300s from Turkey, but only after two years, all 6 of them ended up grounded at airports in Tehran, Mashhad and Moscow. This caused significant controversy in Iran where officials cited GE engine design flaw and subsequent overheating as the reason for grounding the planes. One of these 6 planes was later confirmed to have returned to service by 2010.

Prior to the separation of Iran Air Tours from Iran Air in 2011, Russian-made Tupolev Tu-154s formed the backbone of the former's fleet. However, several successive disasters involving this plane ultimately led to a 2011 blanket ban on its operations within Iranian airlines, including Iran Air Tours. The Tu-154 fleet was gradually replaced with MD-83s over the course of a few months.

According to Iran's Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Devopment, Iran currently has more than 100 planes, some of them owned by Iran Air, grounded due to the lack of access to new parts and technical expertise during the sanctions era.

The prolonged period of time that Iran Air was under international sanctions and barred from purchasing spare parts and new planes led to a dramatic rise in its average fleet age and plunging safety record, to the extent where it became widely known as one of the worst airlines in the world in terms of air safety record. As of March 2017, Iran Air's average fleet age stands at 24.1 years, though this figure is set to improve through addition of new deliveries.

Iran Air's extremely subpar on-time performance, amongst those of most other Iranian airlines, has led to public anger and frustration, often inciting protests in the form of violent confrontations with the airline employees or airplane sit-ins for many hours after a severely-delayed flight has finally landed. Officials routinely attribute the delays to the economic sanctions, although at least one pro-revolutionary ideologue has cited "inefficiency and mismanagement" as the chief cause of this issue.