News agencies are reporting that Iranian authorities will ban flights of Russian-made Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft from February 20.
“All Iranian airline companies which have Tupolev-154 in their fleet are required to end operation of their Tupolevs by February 19,” the country’s civil aviation chief told media.
Four Iranian air carriers - Iran Air Tour, Kish Air, Eram and Taban - who have a total of 17 Tu-154 jets in their fleets, were instructed to ground their Tupolevs by February 19 and replace them with other planes. Which planes that might be is unclear.
“The use of Tu-154 planes is banned in connection with recent incidents involving those aircraft,” the civil aviation chief said in his letter to the air carriers.
Iranian authorities criticized the Russian Tupolev manufacturer for refusing to respond to the Iranian Civil Aviation Organization’s request in connection with recent Tu-154 accidents.
Over the last 10 years, 5 Tupolev Tu-154 crashed in Iran, killing more than 300 people.
In an effort to renew its outdated civil aviation fleet, Iran plans to import 13 McDonnell Douglas MD-80 and 6 Airbus planes in the near future. The Islamic Republic will also start the domestic production of the IrAn-140 passenger plane, that is based on the Antonov An-140.
Iran is treated by international sanctions (UN and US) which, at some level, prohibit import of modern airplanes, spare parts and any other “aviation related material”.
Source: RIA Novosti