Iran's air cargo fleet has been banned from making international flights after being ruled unfit to fly, due mainly to a lack of spare parts, press reports said Monday. The Hambastagi daily, citing aviation sources, said all of the nation's cargo planes had been formally barred from the international skies but that the ban was routinely being ignored for flights within the country.
No independent confirmation of the report was immediately available but the sources said the ageing fleet had been hampered by a lack of access to spare parts and that Iran had been forced to lease planes from Bulgaria to keep its air cargo operation going.
They said that Iran had been unable to purchase spare parts for its cargo fleet because of international concern that the planes were also being used for military purposes. The sources did not specify which countries had been blocking sale of the parts.
The United States maintains a unilateral embargo on Tehran and Iranian officials have recently expressed concern over the lack of spare parts for the passenger fleet of state carrier Iran Air. Most of Iran Air's fleet consists of US-made Boeings. — (AFP, Tehran)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )