Iran has recently launched a new private airline Yazd Air despite United States sanctions targeting the country’s civil aviation sector.
Iranian media presstv reported that a ceremony was held on February 17, 2023, after Yazd Air’s first flight from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) landed at Yazd Sadooghi International Airport (AZD), the airline’s base.
The ceremony in Yazd, a historic city in central Iran, was attended by senior government officials from Iran’s ministry of tourism.
It is reported that private investors spent 10 trillion rials ( $22 million) on the launch of Yazd Air.
What are Yazd Air’s destinations and fleet?
The new airline will reportedly use two Airbus A310s for flights to international destinations, such as Najaf in Iraq, Dubai, Istanbul and Mumbai.
For domestic routes, it will use two short-haul British Aerospace 146 planes.
Iran’s second largest airline Mahan Air will provide Yazd Air its services in its first two months of operation, and the new airline will eventually set up its own offices after recruiting around 70 staff members.
US sanctions on Iran’s aviation industry
The launch of Yazd Air comes despite existing US sanctions on Iran’s civil aviation.
The first sanctions were imposed in the US in 1979 following the Islamic revolution in Iran.
In 2015, President Obama signed an executive order lifting the sanctions against Iran to purchase nuclear weapons.
The sanctions were reinstated by Obama’s successor President Trump in 2018.
Explaining the US sanctions on Iran, a spokesperson from the US Department of State said in a YouTube video: “The Iranian regime has been caught red-handed, building a covert nuclear weapons program, threatening the United States and our allies around the world.”
Part of the sanctions include the prevention of Iran buying aircraft parts directly from the open market, which the country has been circumventing by purchasing from the black market.