officials say airlines need 600 planes

TEHRAN, Jan. 06 (MNA) – Iranian officials has said the country needs about 600 planes within the next 10 years, raising earlier estimates by around 150.

In order for the materialization of the targets set in 2026 Vision Plan, Iran will need at least 581 planes,” said Secretary of the Association of Iranian Airlines Maqsoud As'adi-Samani. This number of planes, Samani added, “will be necessary to meet the passenger needs given that the demand for air travels as well as the transportation of cargoes by planes will surge in the near future.”

The official further went on to say that the share of air cargo transportation in Iran currently stood below 0.2 percent, suggesting that a significant increase in the figure is necessary to boost the country’s economic activities. Airways News website reported in December 2015 that Iran is was expected to order 450 new airplanes over the next five years.

It added that 400 of the new planes would be for mainline services, and 150 other planes will be used for wide body services. The remaining 50 would be used for regional purposes and would be mostly turboprops. Airways News added that demand for international flights that would require wide body aircraft would specifically rise. On a related story, aviation industrialists have been speculating lately that the removal of sanctions against Iran would put pressure on major Middle East carriers, creating new competition for those who have built a business on connecting regional and international traffic.

Leading regional airlines like Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways will specifically find themselves in intense rivalry as a result of the opening that will be created in Iran’s aviation market, reported Arab media last week. Analysts agree that Iran will be a growth market in 2016 but with thousands on backorder at the major manufacturers, the Iranian carriers will likely lease aircraft in the near term.

To counter this, the leading regional airlines will have to buy some aircraft and other carriers will have to refurbish cabins to retain and attract new passengers, added the report by the same media. Russian major airplane makers have already hailed to satisfy Iran’s demand for planes. However, Mohammad Khodakarami, the deputy director of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) was quoted by the media as saying that domestic airlines were not interested in Russian brands. To the same effect, reports emerged in the media last year that the country has already taken steps to purchase planes from leading Western manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus.

 

SH/PR

 

News Code 113412

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