Bloomberg News is reporting that the Iranian airline Iran Aseman Airlines is in negotiations to purchase six used Airbus A320 planes. The details of the transaction have not been released.
Iran Aseman currently operates 30 domestic, and seven international routes. The airline has 19 Fokker 100s, four Boeing 727s, six ATR-72 Turboprops, and two Falcon 20 jets. The A320s will replace some of Aseman’s Fokker 100s that were manufactured between 1990 and 1995.
Current sanctions levied by the United Nations Security Council in response to Iran’s nuclear program prohibit the sale of new aircraft and parts to Iran. Iran’s inability to acquire brand new airplanes from the U.S. could be a key reason behind the country’s abnormally high accident rate according to Paul Hayes, Director of Safety at Ascend in London.
“The accident rate in Iran is poor compared with other developed countries. I assume sanctions are causing problems with maintaining and replacing aircraft,” Hayes said.
Iranian airlines have faced even tighter regulations over the last year as the U.S. government has begun to target suppliers of aviation fuel to the country.
The U.S. has made it clear that Iran will have to abandon its nuclear program in order to have its sanctions lifted meaning it could be a very long time before brand new airplanes begin arriving in the country and accident rates decline.