Picture by Sam Chui
Iranian Based Airline
Mahan Air as a Full-Service Carrier (FSC), was established in 1991 and began operations in June 1992 as Iran’s first private airline. The name of Mahan is taken from historical city of [Mahan] in [Kerman Province]. The Airline joined the IATA in 2001 and is owned by Mol-Al-Movahedin Charity Institute.
Three Airbus A300B4 passenger aircraft were acquired in 1999 and later in 2002 A310 and A320 types joined the fleet. According to the British High Court, three 747-400s were unlawfully taken by Mahan Air from their real owners, [Blue Sky Airlines], in 2008, using forged bills of sale. When ordered to bring the aircraft back to Europe, Mahan apparently claimed they could not do so because they were being investigated by the Iranian authorities for fraud and the aircraft had to be kept in Iran. The Fleet has gone through an extensive modernization since 2006 as Boeing 747-400’s, A300-600’s, RJ-100’s as well as A340-600’s were gradually acquired to enable Mahan Air to provide additional capacity on its current destinations as well as extending its reach to further destinations worldwide. The airline started operations from Tehran to [Shanghai] in 2011, [Guangzhou] in 2013 and [Beijing] in 2014.
The airline carried 5.4 million passengers in 2015 with an average load factor of 77% and in mid-2015 had a fleet of 60 aircraft, making it the largest airline in Iran based on seat numbers and fleet size. It operates scheduled passenger services to international destinations in Europe, Far East and the Middle East. Mahan Air has an extensive domestic route network too. The airline commenced [Copenhagen] and [Paris] services in the first half of 2016.