Despite US sanctions aimed at the nation’s civil aviation industry, Iran recently launched a new private airline called Yazd Air.
Yazd Air’s inaugural flight from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) landed at Yazd Sadooghi International Airport (AZD), the airline’s base, on February 17, 2023, according to Iranian media outlet presstv.
Senior government representatives from the Iranian tourism ministry attended the ceremony in Yazd, a historical city in the center of the country.
The launch of Yazd Air reportedly cost private investors 10 trillion rials ($22 million).
What are the fleet and destinations of Yazd Air?
For flights to overseas locations like Najaf in Iraq, Dubai, Istanbul, and Mumbai, the new airline will reportedly use two Airbus A310 aircraft. Two short-haul British Aerospace 146 aircraft will be used for domestic flights.
In its first two months of operation, Yazd Air will use the services of Mahan Air, Iran’s second-largest airline; after hiring about 70 employees, the new airline will eventually establish its own offices.
US sanctions imposed on Iran’s aviation sector
Yazd Air’s debut occurs despite ongoing US sanctions imposed on Iran’s civil aviation.
In 1979, in response to the Iranian Islamic Revolution, the US enacted its first set of sanctions.
President Obama issued an executive order in 2015 removing the restrictions on Iran’s ability to obtain nuclear weapons.
In 2018, President Trump, who succeeded Obama, renewed the penalties.
The Iranian dictatorship has been caught red-handed developing a covert nuclear weapons program, endangering the United States and our partners throughout the world, a US Department of State official stated in a YouTube video explaining the sanctions on Iran.
The country has been getting around the restrictions by buying airplane parts on the black market, but one of the sanctions is preventing Iran from doing so.