Iran Air posts annual profit despite U.S. sanctions

October 6, 2019

TEHRAN - Iran’s National Airline (Iran Air) has reported a surge in operating profits for the past Iranian calendar year (ended in March 2019) despite a surge in aviation costs resulted from the U.S. sanctions on the country.

According to Deputy Transportation Minister Shahram Adamnejad, the announcement was made by Iran Air during an annual shareholders’ meeting on Saturday.

Adamnejad did not elaborate on the net figures and further details and there was no information available from the flag carrier.

Iran Air is also expected to announce increased revenues for the current calendar year ending March 2020 mainly because it accommodated a large number of flights carrying Iranian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj season in September.   

The company announced during the busy travel season that it had scrambled technicians and engineers to keep planes airworthy despite sanctions that ban using foreign companies for maintenance services.

Despite a U.S. ban on its purchase of 200 aircraft from Airbus, Boeing and ATR, Iran Air has pressed ahead with an ambitious fleet expansion program as it seeks buying planes whose sales are not affected by the sanctions.

It said last year any offer from companies based in Russia and in non-European countries to deliver new planes would be welcome.

Adamnejad said that an operating profit recorded for Homa (the Persian acronym for the carrier), at a time of “increased costs and oppressive sanctions” was a result of better performance in fields including ticket sale, cargo, engineering, ground services and cost control.

“It is expected that through implementing fleet expansion programs at Homa and increased sale revenues for the company, its profit-making run could accelerate by several times,” he said.  

EF/MA

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