Iran Refurbishes Boeing 747 As it Seeks to Avoid US Sanctions

Published September 22nd, 2020 - 01:00 GMT
Iran Refurbishes Boeing 747 As it Seeks to Avoid US Sanctions
Overall Iranian carriers operate up to 156 aircraft. Some of them are under sanctions by the US. (Shutterstock)
Highlights
According to the report, the plane will fly to the UAE and then back to Iran but it is not clear what the plane’s overall future
Iran’s Mehr news says that Iran refurbished a Boeing 747 in a complete overhaul using local engineers. This is part of Iran’s overall indigenous attempts to become self-sufficient. Iran says, according to the report, that this plane will fly to the UAE and then back to Payam Karaj in Iran but it is not clear what the plane’s overall future is. It comes as Iran is preparing for the end of an arms embargo and seeks to get around US sanctions. 
The origins of this particular aircraft being in Iran are relatively recent, in contrast to Iran’s fleet of other 747s. It is a 747-200 variant. According to reports Iran has operated some 28 of this and other 747 variants over the years, an aging fleet that dates back to the 1970s. Aircraft enthusiasts consider the aging fleet to be unique and exotic with rare 747 versions. Many countries have retired these planes. Overall Iranian carriers operate up to 156 aircraft. Some of them are under sanctions by the US. For instance western intelligence sources have been suspicious of flights by the Fars Air Qeshm Boeing 747 between Tehran and Damascus in the past.
 
According to the report of the refurbishing of the 747-200 the engineers said it was the first time in six years to complete these repairs. It is also part of Iran’s “only cargo fleet.” Iran says the aircraft has aided in bringing goods during floods and to help with the COVID-19 outbreak. It has also imported sheep after an earthquake in Kermanshah.

This particular aircraft entered Iranian service in 2008. Iranian officials said this was one of the “most important aircraft repairs in the Islamic Republic.” The report indicated that Iran Air, called “Homa” which was involved in refurbishing the airline was under US sanctions “but nevertheless with the efforts of Iranian engineers we have been able to carry out all repairs.”


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