Iran has purchased some consignments of plane parts, which will be delivered to the country in three weeks, Deputy Minister of Road and Urban Development Ali Mohammad Nourian said on April 13, Iran’s IRIB News Agency reported.

“Once the spare parts are received some 50 per cent of the country’s grounded aircraft would once again become operative,” he explained.

According to Nourian, some 116 planes are currently inoperative due to technical problems.

It is while, Head of Iran Civil Aviation Organization Alireza Jahangirian said on April 12 that foreign companies still refuse to sell plane parts to Tehran, Iran’s IRIB News Agency reported on April 12.

“U.S. Treasury Department has issued permit for Boeing and General Electric companies to provide part to Iran,” he said, adding that still no company has sold parts to Iran.

“Based on the Geneva deal which was signed between Tehran and the P5+1 countries, Iran can buy plane parts from Western firms” he said.

Boeing Co, the world’s biggest airplane maker, and engine maker General Electric Co said earlier this month that they had received licenses from the U.S. Treasury Department to export certain spare parts for commercial aircraft to Iran under a temporary sanctions relief deal that began in January.

GE spokesman Rick Kennedy said the Treasury had approved the company’s application to service 18 engines sold to Iran in the late 1970s. They will be serviced at facilities owned by GE or Germany’s MTU Aero Engines, which is licensed to do the work.

He said GE officials would meet with officials from Iran flag carrier Iranair and MTU in Istanbul next week to discuss Iran’s needs.

A Boeing spokesman also said the license received by company covers only components needed to ensure continued safe flight operations of older Boeing planes sold to Iran before the 1979 revolution, and does not allow any discussions about sales of new aircraft to Iran.

Jahangirian explained on March 30 that based on the Geneva deal only sanctions on plane part have been lifted, and purchasing aircrafts are still under sanctions.

Jahangirian said on December 7 that most of Iran’s current aircrafts would be out of service by Iranian calendar year of 1404 (2025) so the country needs to annually add 30 aircrafts to its air fleet.

“That would annually cost at least one billion dollars for Iran’s aviation industry,” the ISNA News Agency quoted Jahangirian as saying.

“Although the number of Iran’s aircrafts increased to 240 from the previous figure of 140 in the past 8 years, but since most of them are old the country’s air fleet was practically developed by only 20 per cent in the mentioned period,” he said.

Iran plans to increase the number of its aircrafts up to 550 by Iranian calendar year of 1404 (2025).

The Iranian Roads and Urban Development Minister Abbas Akhoundi said on September 11 that the situation of Iran’s aviation industry is not satisfactory.

“The country’s air fleet is old which raises safety concerns,” the Tasnim News Agency quoted Akhoundi as saying.

“The costumers are not satisfied with the services the domestic airlines provide,” he added.

He went on to note that old airplanes consume more fuel compared to the new ones; therefore the new aircrafts are economically justified.

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

Iranian airlines’ air fleet is averagely 22 years old, the ISNA News Agency reported. ___

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. Aero Icarus / Flickr.com