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Iran Transport Minister says Iran to buy 25 planes by March 2004

Transport Minister Ahmad Khorram said in Tehran on Monday that his ministry is planning to add 25 planes to Iran's domestic aviation fleet by March 2004, stressing that five planes from the total planned purchase have already been bought over the past four months, IRNA reported.

The Persian-language newspaper `Resalat` quoted Khorram as saying that 15 percent of the price of the planes will be paid by the Foreign Reserve Fund in advance and that the remaining 85 percent must be financed so that the total amount would be paid in eight to ten years.

He further added that some planes that had been leased from abroad had not been economically justifiable considering that they used two times the fuel that the planes with their equal size consume.

Iran's aviation fleet is mostly comprised of US-made Boeings that have been purchased before the 1979 Islamic Revolution but have already outlived their serviceable life by at least 20 years. After the US imposed trade embargoes against the Islamic Republic, Iran has not been able to successfully maintain the planes fit for flying. This has forced the Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) to turn to Russian planes.

The CAO, however, came under strong pressure after most of the air mishaps in domestic flights have involved Russian-made planes. In May 2002, a Russian-built Yak-40 plane on its way to northern Iran from Tehran crashed with 30 people on board, including the then roads and transport minister, Rahman Dadman.

... Payvand News - 9/15/03 ... --

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