Iran’s national airline is looking to rid itself of some old aircraft as US sanctions continue to strangle the country’s economy.
According to a recent notice, Iran Air will auction off one dozen passenger aircraft that haven’t flown in years.
The list of jets includes some real items of aviation history, such as Airbus’ flagship A300 jet, the uniquely configured and notoriously noisy Boeing 727 and several Boeing 747SPs – a short-body model the planemaker only built a handful of back in the 1970s.
The Drive noted that in light of extensive sanctions placed on Iran Air by the United States, the most likely buyer will be another Iranian airline, which will probably use the jets for spare parts. The US has specifically targeted Iran Air, claiming the country’s airline industry helps its military, which US President Donald Trump has claimed without evidence is responsible for terrorism around the world.
Last month, two Emirati airliners, Parthia Cargo and Delta Parts Supply FZC, were sanctioned by the US Treasury Department after it was discovered they had provided parts and logistics services to Mahan Air, Iran’s largest air carrier.
Another option for a buyer is the Iranian air force, which blew out one of the engines on its only Boeing 747-200 during an engine test last month. The air force uses the aircraft as a transport and even as a mid-air refueling tanker.
Iran’s airliners aren’t the only institutions that make use of ancient jets. The Iranian air force is the world’s sole remaining operator of the Grumman F-14 Tomcat, a carrier-based fighter the US sold to Tehran shortly before the 1979 Islamic Revolution that made the two countries bitter enemies.