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Iran Air Tour Airline Starts Replacing Topolov with Boeing Passenger Planes

Source: Fars News Agency, Tehran

Iran Air Tours, an Iranian airline company, added two Boeing passenger planes to its fleet in line with the country's plan for replacing the Russian Topolov with safer planes.

Iranian civilian plane crashes have increased by five times since the 1980s, and since 2001, 15 major civilian planes have crashed. Seven of these planes were American Boeing jets and Lockheed C-130s, arguably the safest aircrafts available. Yet, they have frequently crashed due to "mechanical failures."

"Following the Civil Aviation Organization's assistance and support for the continued activity of Iran Air Tour company and the replacement of Topolove-154 planes, the CAO issued the needed license for the operation of two Boeing MDs for the company last week," Director-General of CAO's Office of Flight Engineering Mostafa Haqiqatjou said.

He added that Iran Air Tour has already introduced its plans and time-table for a gradual replacement of its Topolov planes to the CAO.

"The Civil Aviation Organization has brought on its agenda the necessary measures for taking out these planes based on a timetable," Haqiqatjou noted.

In August, Head of Islamic Republic National Airline Farhad Parvaresh announced that all of Iran's Topolov airplanes will be replaced with Boeing MD.

"Within the five months allotted to Iran Air Tour or perhaps by March, another fleet will replace the civilian Topolovs of all airline companies," Parvaresh added.

Also in August, Iranian Minister of Roads and Transportation Hamid Behbahani announced the country's plans to import 13 Boeing MD and six Airbus passenger planes in the near future.

"Five Boeing MD planes (out of 13 planes) have already been imported and the rest of the planes will arrive in the country soon," Behbahani told FNA at the time.

Iran is seeking to renew its air fleet through purchase of foreign planes and domestic production in a bid to improve conditions in its aviation industry.

Iran has witnessed abundant crash incidents in recent years.

Only in 2010, the country witnessed two air crashes. The first incident happened when a Tupolev-154M crashed shortly after take-off from Tehran en route to the Armenian capital of Yerevan on July 15, killing all 168 passengers onboard.

Ten days later, 16 people were killed and 21 others were injured when an Aria Air plane crash-landed in the northeastern city of Mashhad.

The plane en route to the northeastern city of Mashhad from Tehran crashed as it was attempting to make an emergency landing at the destination.

The aircraft, an Ilyushin Il-62 jet, had 153 passengers and crewmembers onboard.

Tehran blames the maintenance woes of its airlines in part on US sanctions that prevent Iran from getting spare parts for some of its planes.

... Payvand News - 10/08/10 ... --

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