This article was written by Mateen Kontoravdis and first published on

Just over a year ago, Iran Air received its first brand new airplane in over 24 years. It was also the first new aircraft delivery for the nation as a whole, following the lifting of sanctions through the Iran Nuclear Deal. Since Jan. 11, 2017, when the nation saw a brand new Airbus A321 painted with the Homa tail land in Tehran, Iran Air has taken delivery of two Airbus A330 and eight ATR 72-600 aircraft.

Last year, Iranian airlines also received second-hand aircraft, including Iran’s ATA Airlines, which added the Embraer ERJ-145 and Boeing 737-500 to its fleet, and Karun Airlines, which also added the Boeing 737-500 to its fleet.

Since economic sanctions were lifted, many Iranian carriers have rushed to make deals for new airplanes. Multiple carriers have reached agreements for new aircraft to be bought and used in the country. Iran Air, the nation’s flag carrier, has received the green light to receive aircraft from Airbus, Boeing, and ATR. Since receiving the positive decision, it has moved quickly, ordering 220 new airplanes in total.

Iran Aseman Airlines also made headlines last April when the carrier announced its intent to purchase 30 Boeing 737 MAX planes worth $3 billion, with an option for 30 more. So far, that deal has not experienced any disruption from U.S. carriers and the first jet is expected to arrive in two years.

Also, last June, Airtour Airlines signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for 45 A320neos and Zagros Airlines signed an MoU for 20 A320neos and 8 A330neos.

The latest deal is between Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier and a new airline in Iran, Fly Qeshm. The airline is a new joint airline created by private investors in both Iran and China, according to AviationIran.

The Qeshm Free Zone Investment and Development Company is behind the contract with Bombardier and will soon sign the deal to purchase 10 CRJ900 NextGen aircraft. The two companies have been in talks for over 2 years and now they are just waiting for the Qeshm Free Zone Investment and Development Company to sign the finalized contract.

If the current contract is signed, Bombardier will finance 80 percent of the deal for the 10 jets. Deliveries of the new planes are expected to commence 10 months after the deal is signed, with Bombardier being expected to deliver two aircraft every three months.

Initially, the company which will operate Fly Qeshm wanted to order 25 aircraft. However, as they were unable to due to limitations of financial resources, they have settled for ten, for now. If this deal is signed, it would prove to be a historic one for Bombardier and Iran as no Iranian carrier has ever operated a Bombardier aircraft.

Currently, there are just about 150 airplanes flying in Iran today for the 14 different passenger airlines and three cargo airlines. With the current deals, over 300 new planes would be added to the fleets of the country’s various carriers. However, new deals will continue to be made as the country is in need of at least 500-600 passenger jets to be able to keep up with the rising demand for air travel in the nation.

With the strong demand being present, many carriers are placing orders for aircraft that would help to double their fleet. Though, in a nation where the average aircraft age is over 20 years, some of the new planes will be replacements for some of the nation’s oldest aircraft.

On the main photo: The delivery of IranAir’s first A321. Photo credits: Airbus