I think that Iran must have been holding the winning ticket on that $1.5 billion PowerBall jackpot a couple weeks back. That’s the only reasonable explanation I can come up with for the random shopping spree the country’s Transportation Ministry seems to be on these days. While nothing is a firm deal yet there have been plenty of announcements, and the numbers are, well, inconceivable. I get that the country hasn’t been able to purchase much in he way of new aircraft for decades; there is no doubt that a significant upgrade to the fleet is needed. But, well, some of the rumored details make so very little sense.
The latest version of the news has the country buying 127 aircraft from Airbus for flag carrier Iran Air. Some new and some used which makes sense given that there is, theoretically, some sort of budget to stick with. But the breakdown on what is coming in is crazy. With 16 A350s rumored as part of the deal Iran Air would be in the top 20 of operators for the type. And the used A340-300s make sense given they can be delivered quickly. Some A320s for domestic and regional flying make sense and some A330s for longer-haul operations would be good as well. But then the A380 comes into the mix and I have no idea what the heck is going on.
Maybe Airbus is just throwing them on the cheap to keep the line running. Maybe the lifting of sanctions will suddenly see a massive increase in passenger flow in and out of the country. Neither seems entirely likely, even as experts predict a doubling of travel. That’s a big number but is nowhere close to justifying 16 A350s and 8 A380s for the country. Plus ATRs and maybe a CSeries or MRJ or something else, too. Lots and lots of potential buying to happen. Just need to figure out what of it is real.
But, hey, it’ll be fun to watch that fleet modernize and grow. Though if you’re interested in catching a ride on some of the (barely maintained) classics time would seem to be running short.
Never miss another post: Sign up for email alerts and get only the content you want direct to your inbox.