Airlines in Iran and their Fleets

Iran is an interesting country for aviation. For decades it was forced to rely on outdated and ageing airliners delivered before the sanctions on the country were introduced in the 1980s.

Unable to receive any aircraft of modern technology, the airlines in Iran were still flying types like the Boeing 707, 727, 747SP, early Airbus A300 and many Soviet types long into the 2010s. In fact, the Boeing 727 is still active at the time of writing.

Many enthusiasts made the pilgrimage to the country to fly on Saha Air’s Boeing 707s – the last passenger examples in scheduled service – until their retirement in 2013.

With sanctions lifted in recent years, the country’s airlines were able to plan for modernising their fleets. National carrier Iran Air began by taking new Airbus A321s, A330s and ATR 72-600s, with orders for A350s and Boeing 777s announced.

However, it seems political relations are degrading again and new sanctions may halt the arrival of new aircraft into the country once again.

In this guide we look at the airlines active in Iran and the types they are still flying. There are still opportunities for enthusiasts to take some interesting flights within the country.

 

ATA Airlines

I3 | TBZ

IMG_5198ist

Base: Tabriz International

Not to be confused with the defunct American Trans Air, ATA Airlines is a regional operator whose network includes domestic flights and international services to the likes of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Pakistan and Turkey.

Fleet: Airbus A320, Boeing 737-300, 737-500, Embraer ERJ-145, McDonnell Douglas MD-83

 

Caspian Airlines

RV | CPN

EP-CPZ - MD-83 - Caspian Airlines

Base: Tehran Imam Khomeini, Tehran Mehrabad

Caspian Airlines flies domestically, and to Iraq, Turkey and Dubai, with a fleet of Boeing 737 and MD-80 aircraft which were sourced to replace older types. The airline is still under US sanctions and therefore unable to modernise further.

Fleet: Boeing 737-400, 747-100F, McDonnell Douglas MD-82, MD-83

 

Iran Air

IR | IRA

Iran Air A330

Bases: Tehran Imam Khomeini, Tehran Mehrabad

The national carrier has the country’s largest fleet. It operates a significant domestic and international network, with some modernisation taking place recently.

The airline’s Boeing 747SPs have finally been retired, and newer A330s are being used on the prestigious international routes. Nevertheless, some older types still soldier on.

Fleet: Airbus A300B2, A300B4-200, A300B4-600, A310-300, A320, A321SL, A330-200, ATR72-600, Fokker 100

 

Iran Air Tours

B9 | IRB

EP-MDF Iran Air Tours McDonnell Douglas MD-83

Base: Mashhid

A subsidiary of the national carrier, Iran Air. This airline operated Tupolev Tu-154s until the country grounded them. Since then it has sourced a fleet of MD-80s to operate its scheduled and charter network.

Fleet: McDonnell Douglas MD-82, MD-83

 

Iran Aseman Airlines

EP | IRC

Iran Aseman Airlines Boeing 727-200/Adv EP-ASA

Bases: Tehran Imam Khomeini, Tehran Mehrabad

Operating mostly domestic and regional flights, Iran Aseman has the distinction of being the last regular scheduled passenger operator of the Boeing 727 that we know of. However, it intends to phase out these aircraft in favour of more Boeing 737s and new Sukhoi Superjet 100s (assuming sanctions don’t halt delivery of the these planes).

Fleet: Airbus A320, A340-300, ATR72-200, Boeing 727-200, 737-400, Fokker 100

 

Karun Airlines

NV | IRG

Karun Airlines

Bases: Ahwaz, Isfahan

A small domestic airline which was formerly known as Iranian Naft Airlines. It is one of the world’s last operators of the Fokker 50 turboprop aircraft.

Fleet: Fokker 50, 100

 

Kish Air

Y9 | IRK

Kish Air McDonnell Douglas MD82 (DC9-82) EP-LCK Dubai (DXB/OMDB)

Base: Kish Island, Tehran Mehrabad

Formed as an operator to the tourist island of Kish, this airline has grown into a major domestic operator with most of its flights originating in Tehran. It has operated a varied and interesting fleet of Western and Soviet types over the years, but has acquired a relatively modern set of aircraft today.

Fleet: Airbus A320, A321, Boeing 737-500, Fokker 100, McDonnell Douglas MD-82, MD-83

 

Mahan Air

W5 | IRM

Airbus A340-300 Mahan Air

Bases: Tehran Imam Khomeini

Iran’s second largest carrier, and another with a significant international network. Mahan Air has been operating a number of unusual and interesting types, including classic Boeing 747-300s and former Virgin Atlantic Airbus A340-600s.

Fleet: Airbus A300B2, A300B4-600, A310-300, A340-300, A340-600, Boeing 747-300, British Aerospace BAe 146, Avro RJ85, RJ100

 

Meraj Airlines

JI | MRJ

Meraj Airlines "Asiatic Cheetah" Airbus A300 EP-SIG

Bases: Tehran Imam Khomeini, Tehran Mehrabad

A private operator which is still under sanctions from the European Union and United States. Nevertheless, it has acquired a fleet of Airbus types through secondary sources. Its Airbus A300s wear a spectacular livery.

Fleet: Airbus A300B4-600, A320, A321, A340-400

 

Qeshm Airlines

QB | IRQ

Qeshm Airlines Airbus A300-600 EP-FQM

Base: Qeshm Island, Tehran Mehrabad

Another of the many primarily domestic airlines in Iran. Qeshm Air previously operated Soviet types like the Tupolev Tu-154 and Yakovlev Yak-42. As a charter as well as scheduled operator, Qeshm’s aircraft can often be found in European airports.

Fleet: Airbus A300B4-600, A320, Avro RJ85, RJ100, Boeing 747-200F, Fokker 100

 

Saha Air

IRZ

Sahaair B733 EP-SII EP-SIJ

Base: Tehran Imam Khomeini

This airline was once the hero of the aviation enthusiast community as the last operator of the Boeing 707 in regular passenger service. However, since this era came to an end in 2013 the airline has somewhat faded. It is a subsidiary of (and operated by) the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force.

Fleet: Boeing 737-300

 

Sepehran Airlines

IS | SHI

Sepehran Airlines

By Javidfa [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons

Base: Shiraz

Founded as recently as 2017, Sepehran flies domestic routes mostly with Boeing 737 aircraft out of its base in Shiraz. It has plans to grow as more of the aircraft become available, subject to sanctions.

Fleet: Boeing 737-300, 737-500, Dorner 328JET

 

Taban Air

HH | TBM

EP-TBH

Base: Mashhad International

One of Iran’s smaller airlines, operating domestic routes, as well as flights into Armenia, Georgia, Iraq, Pakistan, and to Dubai in the UAE.

Fleet: Airbus A310-300, Avro RJ85, Boeing 737-400, McDonnell Douglas MD-88

 

Zagros Airlines

ZV | IZG

EP-ZGA

Base: Abadan International, Tehran Mehrabad

Zagros was formed in 2005 and flies medium-haul aircraft on flights around the region, as well as on domestic routes.

Fleet: Airbus A319, A320, A321, McDonnell Douglas MD-82, MD-83

 

 

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.