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European Commission to Relax Operating Restrictions on Iran Air

The semi-annual update to the safety list also known as “EU Airline Blacklist” is set to be released this week on June 16th. The updated Air Safety List is expected to allow Iran Air to operate more aircraft per the decision of the European Commission. According to the last update which was released in December 10th of 2015, Iran Air is only allowed to deploy 12 specific aircraft to the EU. Among those allowed are ten Airbus A300s and two A310s however more Iran Air aircraft will be cleared following the recent safety inspections by the EC. On May 31st – June 1st , a decision was made by the EU’s Air Safety Committee in which all member states supported the easing of the operating restrictions on Iran Air as confirmed by the Aviation Daily.

The exception to that is Iran Air’s Boeing 747s and Fokker 100s which will remain blacklisted at this present time. Iran Air has two 747s and fifteen Fokker 100s in its fleet with the Fokker having an average age of 24 years, the 747-21AC at 28 years old and the 747SP-86 pulls up the rear at the ripe old age of 39 years old. The Air Safety Committee’s decision has yet to be made public with the decision having to first be formally transmitted to the European Parliament (EP) along with the Council before EC can publish its updated list.

The decision to ease Iran Air’s operational restrictions to EU comes on the heels of preliminary purchase agreements signed by ATR and Airbus for over 160 aircraft. The EC banned most of Iran Airs fleet from flying to EU because of safety concerns back in 2010 and an EC official recently emphasized that the EU Safety List is truly “all about safety” citing that the EC or Eu's Air Safety Committee would refrain from clearing Iran Air’s operations for simply just political or economic reasons. Additionally, the EASA team has also performed a third county operator (TC)) audit of Iran Air in anticipation of its application for EASA TCO authorization. EC and EASA will be present in an inspecting capacity and not as consultants providing technical assistance. Airbus has also released a statement reassuring that the relaxation of the operational restrictions of Iran Air will not affect their deal in any way.

We are in continuous talks with the customer and the required governmental authorities to have all necessary authorizations in place before starting any delivery.


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