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Founded in 1992, Mahan Air is a privately-owned airline based in the capital city of Tehran, Iran. From its primary base at Imam Khomeini International Airport, Tehran, Iran, the carrier operates a network of regional services within Iran and the Middle East as well as to international destinations in Europe and Asia.
Location of Mahan Air main hub (Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport)
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The embargo on aircraft and parts exports to Iran has left the Iranian airlines saddled with not only some of the oldest fleets in the Middle East, but in the world - a contributing factor to the dreadful safety record of the country's aviation system over the past 20 years.
While Iran has attempted to kick start its own commercial aviation manufacturing industry and has also sourced aircraft from Russia and Ukraine, its efforts to acquire Western-made aircraft and replacement parts have largely been frustrated, thanks to the effects of sanctions imposed by many countries.
But as a result of Iran's agreement in Nov-2013 to suspend nuclear activities, several countries including the US and France and Germany have agreed to a temporary 6 month suspension of restrictions on sale of spare parts for aircraft and engines, in order to help improve safety levels. The window for sales began in Jan-2014. Boeing and General Electric are reportedly among manufacturers who have applied to use the opportunity to provide spare parts.
Once it was short haul services that were in demand from UK’s regional airports, now it seems that the desire to avoid travelling via a hub has spread to the mid to long haul arena, as difficult as it may be to justify some of the proposed services. The latest airports to investigate the level of demand for long haul flights are Newcastle and Cardiff.
Like the rest of the country, Iraq’s aviation industry is now beginning to recover from the travails of the country’s recent history. In a sign of the increasing responsibility that Baghdad is taking of its national aviation industry, Iraq officially took control of more of its airspace in early 2009. All Iraqi airspace, except for ATS routes and Terminal Control Areas, is prohibited to civilian traffic, unless under the direction of Air Traffic Control (ATC).
Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA) General Director, Reza Qadimi, announced expansion plans for the airport were finalised in late Oct-08.
Iran State Airports Company Managing Director, Seyed Ahmad Momeni-Rokh, reportedly announced ‘three new international airlines will be established in Iran’ by the end of Mar-09. Mr Rokh stated the government had allocated USD313 million toward the project this year, although further details were not disclosed.
The European Commission dropped Iran's Mahan Air from its safety blacklist of carriers banned from EU skies. The Commission stated that Mahan Air was being removed "in view of the significant efforts and progress accomplished by this carrier, which were verified during an on site inspection in Iran."