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"Iran Catching Up With Int’l Aviation Business"
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Iran Catching Up With Int’l Aviation Business
By Saeed Jalili
Iran - The Financial Tribune
The presence of Iran in global decision-making bodies will help the country
safeguard its aviation interests, Iran Air's CEO said.
“The International Air Transport Association’s board members as well as those
of International Civil Aviation Organization make the main decisions about the
aviation sector and airline companies … For years, Iranian airlines have been
deprived of this opportunity. This can give them another chance,” Farhad
Parvaresh was quoted as saying by ILNA.
“As sanctions against Iran were tightened, IATA put limits on our accessibility
… But fortunately most of these limitations have been removed as a result of
the JCPOA,” he added.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the official name of the landmark
nuclear deal Iran reached with world powers.
For Iran, the end of sanctions on its aviation sector means not only the
possibility of purchasing new planes to revamp the domestic aging fleet but
also a bargaining leverage in international policymaking arena that can help
Iranian carriers compete fairly with their global counterparts.
While the removal of nuclear-related sanctions against Iran in January 2016, as
part of the nuclear deal signed between Tehran and the world powers in 2015,
threw a lifeline to Iran Air to help secure huge orders with global
planemakers, it has also led to the election of Parvaresh as a member of IATA’s
board of governors.
“Iranian airlines have nothing short of the carriers of regional countries
whose executives are present in IATA’s board of governors. We can be present in
this council and use our influence,” Parvaresh said.
His designation was decided during IATA’s 73rd Annual General Meeting held in
Cancun, Mexico, on June 4-6. This is the first time an Iranian official has
been acceded to the association since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
IATA is a trade association for world airlines, representing about 275 carriers
accounting for 83% of total global air traffic. It has been led by Alexandre de
Juniac, its director general and CEO, since September 2016.
“Being on IATA board of governors highlights the return of Iran and its
airlines into the wider aviation fold and allows them to positively influence
policy that allows Iran and Iranian airlines to better compete
internationally,” Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at the Dubai-based Strategic Aero
Research, told Financial Tribune.
The analyst says the membership gives Iran equal voice and representation for
its aviation interests.
“Without this, Iran would remain marginalized,” he said. “Given Iran’s nuclear
deal, compliance and plans to buy new airplanes, being on the IATA board helps
the country establish itself as a big player-not just regionally, but globally
Parvaresh said he once had submitted a bid for membership, but it was rejected
over “a series of reasons, including sanctions”.
The Iranian government has also decided to appoint the flag carrier’s CEO as
Iran’s new permanent representative to ICAO, the Canada-based specialized
agency of the United Nations, which codifies the principles and techniques of
international air navigation and fosters the development of international air
transport to ensure safe and orderly growth.
Parvaresh was appointed to the state-owned Iran Air, otherwise known as Homa
Company, in September 2009.
Since the implementation of the nuclear deal, the airline has signed tens of
billions of dollars worth of deals with European planemaker Airbus, its
American counterpart Boeing and Franco-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR to
purchase some 200 planes.
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