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Iran Air

aka Airline Of The Islamic Republic Of Iran (Homa);
aka Havapeyma Meli Iran Homa;
aka Homa;
aka Iran Air Cargo;
aka Iran Air P J S C;
aka Iranair;
aka Iranair Cargo;
aka National Iranian Airlines (Homa);
aka Sherkat Sahami Aam Havopaymaie Jomhouri Islami Iran),

Iran Air (The Airline of the Islamic Republic of Iran) (IR) is also known as Homa, an acronym of its Persian name. Irans national airline carrier, Iran Air, is a commercial airline used by the IRGC and Irans Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) to transport military related equipment. Iran Air serves as Irans national air carrier, operating a fleet of approximately 40 aircraft covering 35 international and 25 domestic destinations. Iran Air Tours is a subsidiary that operates a portion of Iran Airs domestic flights.

Originally 50 percent belonged to the Government, 20 percent each to Persian Air Services and Iranian Airways, and 10 percent to the public. Iran Air was formed in February 1962 to succeed private carriers, Iranian Airways and Persian Air Services, which merged into a Government-owned national airline.

Aviation skills, even in routine airline maintenance, do not come easily to undeveloped countrie. Under the Shah, the limiting factor behind utilization was maintenance. The most urgent need was for trained maintenance personnel. To help correct this deficiency, Iran Air concluded in March 1964 a technical and management agreement with Pan American, made possible through a $1.5m US aid loan. Fifty of Iran Air's staff of 750 including pilots and groundcrew and sales and operations personnel received training in Iran and the United States. Scheduled passenger and cargo services are operated internationally and to some 20 odd domestic points. International destinations include Abu Dhabi, Bombay, Damascus, Doha, Dubai, Beijing, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Geneva, Istanbul, London, Paris, Rome, Vienna, Sharjah, Larnaca, Karachi, Kualalumpur. Charter flights are also undertaken.

In 2006 the national airline, Iran Air, served 25 cities in Iran with connections to the Persian Gulf and European and Asian cities; it operated a fleet of 36 aircraft and employed about 12,000 workers. Iran Air operated Airbus A320, Boeing 727 and Boeing 747 airliners, as well as those manufactured by the now-defunct Fokker, and McDonnell Douglas, which merged with Boeing in 1997. The second-largest carrier, the private Asseman Airlines, connected the largest domestic cities with destinations on the Persian Gulf and elsewhere in Asia. In the early 2000s, Iran Air suffered financial losses because of its inflated staff and inadequate technological investments. For example, in 2004 its labor cost was 48 times higher than that of Lufthansa, the German national airline, which reportedly offered eight times as many flights with a much smaller staff.

By June 2006, as European and US diplomats held out the possibility of increased support of Western airliners in Iran as part of a proposal to resolve the political stand-off over Tehrans nuclear program, the head of Iran Air says that current sanctions have forced the carrier to ground aircraft. Airline chairman and managing director Saeid Hesami also insisted, however, that the company is able to maintain safe operations. He said that of 36 aircraft in Iran Airs fleet, a number, notably its six General Electric CF6-powered Airbus A310-200s, were grounded because of the difficulty in servicing them.

Iran Air had struggled to upgrade its fleet, and there was some uncertainty as to the composition of the operational fleet. An attempt to acquire new Airbus A330s were blocked in 2001, so the airline bought secondhand A310s instead. In 2005 it introduced two ex-Olympic Airlines A300-600s. The fleet also includes Boeing 747-100/200, 747SP and 727 aircraft, and a dozen Fokker 100s. Iran Air Tours, its holiday division, operates 12 Tupolev Tu-154s.

The downing of civilian Iran Air Flight 655 on 03 July 1988 was a tragic and regrettable accident and, as is so often the case in a combat environment, there were a number of contributing factors. A Notice to Airmen was reviewed and reissued in September 1987. It advised all nations who operate aircraft in the Persian Gulf region that U.S. Navy ships were taking additional precautions. In particular the need for aircraft operating in those waters to be prepared to identify themselves on specific circuits and to state their intentions was emphasized. Additionally, they were advised that failure to respond to requests for identification, as well as operating in a threatening manner, could place aircraft at risk by US defensive measure. Unfortunately, few commercial airl1nes saw fit to reroute their aircraft or to make any other significant allowances for the hostile environment.

The USS Vincennes, an Aegis cruiser, mistakenly shot down Iran Air Flight 655, killing the 290 people aboard. The U.S. Navy warship shot down Iran Air Flight 655 commercial airliner after mistakenly identifying it as a hostile Iranian F-14. All passengers aboard were killed almost immediately upon the explosion and resulting crash.

In June 2005, China agreed to deny overflight rights to an Iranian cargo plane that landed in North Korea allegedly to pick up missile components. In November 2007, the Bush Administration reportedly raised concerns with China that an Iran Air plane was flying from North Korea via Beijings airport to Iran with a shipment of missile jet vanes for Irans missile program. In May 2011, China tried to suppress a report at the United Nations suggesting that North Korea and Iran have been routinely sharing ballistic missile technology. The report, by a United Nations panel of experts, said prohibited ballistic missile-related items were suspected of being transferred between North Korea and Iran in breach of United Nations sanctions against North Korea. It said the transfers were believed to be taking place on regular scheduled flights of Air Koryo and Iran Air, using air cargo hubs that had less stringent security than passenger terminals.

On September 29, 2006, the Departments of State and Commerce informed Congress of its intent to recommend that the Department of Treasury issue a license to a U.S. company to permit the exportation of spare and replacement parts, components and technical data for the repair and overhaul of a limited number of U.S. manufacture civil aero turbine engines on Airbus aircraft operated by Iran Air. The Departments recommendation is based on an airworthiness warning issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that calls for the immediate overhaul of these engines. As conditions for the license approval, all repairs will be performed in third countries and no exports will go directly to Iran.

Sean McCormack, State Department Spokesman, said "We believe the concerns associated with the FAA warning and the air safety threat posed by the operation of these airplanes, absent these vital repairs, are sufficient grounds to recommend these immediate actions. Our recommendation is consistent with the U.S. Governments commitment to promote international safety-of-flight standards and ensure the safety of all aviation passengers, including the citizens of Iran. Through its support for terrorism and pursuit of a nuclear weapons program in defiance of its international obligations, the Iranian regime continues to subordinate the Iranian peoples interests to its own extremist agenda. The United States is focused on the pressing humanitarian concerns that affect the Iranian people. Therefore, despite our grave concerns regarding the Iranian regimes activities, we believe this decision is consistent with our commitment to support the Iranian people and to use U.S sanctions to target the regime, not the Iranian people."

Following an examination of the safety of Iran Air's operations into the EU through ramp checks of its aircraft in the Community, evidence of serious incidents and accidents suffered by the carrier and insufficient oversight from the authority over the past year, on 30 March 2010 the Air Safety Committee concluded unanimously that the operations of Iran Air to the EU should be restricted. The carrier would only be allowed to use certain aircraft for flights to Europe. The Commission would visit Iran over the next months to verify the oversight of the Iranian civil aviation organisation and the safety situation of Iran Air.

Based on the results of the EU visit to Iran, led by the Commission with the participation of experts from Member States and EASA to verify implementation by Iran Air of measures announced at the last Air Safety Committee in March 2010 by the civil aviation organisation of Iran and the air carrier, on 06 July 2010 the Air Safety Committee unanimously supported the expansion of the operating restrictions imposed on Iran Air to exclude from operations into the EU its fleet of Airbus A-320 and of Boeing B-727 and B-747.

On 16 June 2016 the European Commission updated the EU Air Safety List, the list of airlines that do not meet international safety standards, and are therefore subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union. The EU Air Safety List seeks to ensure the highest level of air safety for European citizens, which is a top priority of the Aviation Strategy adopted in December 2015. The EU Air Safety List is one of the Union's main instruments to meet that objective. Following today's update, all airlines certified in Zambia were cleared from the list, along with Air Madagascar and three airlines certified in Indonesia (Citilink, Lion Air and Batik Air). In addition most aircraft of Iran Air are allowed to resume operations to the EU. Following this update, a total of 216 airlines are banned from EU skies due to a lack of safety oversight by the aviation authorities from these states.

EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: "Aviation safety is my top priority and today's update illustrates our continuous efforts to offer the highest level of air safety to European citizens.... Following my visit to Iran in April, a technical assessment was successfully carried out in May. Based on this I am happy to announce that we are now also able to allow most aircraft from Iran Air back into European skies."

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Page last modified: 15-12-2016 11:14:15 ZULU