Iran may buy new airplanes and refurbish its aviation fleet since international sanctions against the country’s aviation industry were partly lifted on Sunday, the Mehr News Agency quoted Iranian deputy transport minister Alimohammad Nourian as saying on November 26.

The sanctions have made many problems for us in procuring spare parts and components for the aviation industry, he said, adding that the required parts were imported from indirect sources at higher costs.

On Sunday, the Tasnim News Agency quoted Hamidreza Ghavabesh, the secretary of the Iranian air travel agencies, as saying that Iran will reuse 100 grounded airplanes as lifting sanctions on its aviation industry enables the country to provide spare parts for the planes.

Iranian airlines’ planes are 22 years old on average and the fleet is not efficient. So, they take a longer time to get overhauled, he explained.

Certainly, importing parts for repairing and maintaining planes will greatly help improve safety of flights, he noted.

Iran and six world powers reached a breakthrough deal early in Geneva on Sunday on Tehran’s nuclear program. The two sides have signed a joint “plan of action”.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that based on the deal in Geneva, the P5+1 has pledged to not impose additional sanctions against Iran during the next six months and would suspend some existing sanctions.

On September 1, Managing Director of Iran Airtour Airline Sirous Baheri said that over 60 per cent of Iran’s total 220 airplanes are grounded due to technical and logistical issues.

“Iranian airlines are facing great losses due to the low price of domestic flights,” Baheri said.

“Iranian airlines are currently having difficulty competing with foreign airlines,” he added.

“Not having connections with the manufacturers is one of the main problems of domestic airlines, which has made it difficult for them to repair their airplanes,” Baheri stated.

Photo Credit: An Iran Air Airbus A300-605R on July 6, 2011. The Iranian airline industry has had great difficulty in obtaining spare parts because of international sanctions. Flickr.com