TEHRAN, Iran – Iranian airlines owe 3.6 trillion rials (about $145 million) to the State Airports Company, the Fars News Agency quoted managing director of the State Airports Company, Mahmoud Rasoulinejad, as saying on Jan. 10.
“The airlines are not willing to pay their debts. So, we have to act legally to collect a portion of the sum,” he added.
Mahan, Iran Air, and Aseman airlines are the biggest debtors, he noted.
In September 2013, Managing Director of Iran Airtour Airline, Sirous Baheri said over 60 per cent of Iran’s total 220 airplanes were grounded due to technical and logistic issues.
Iranian airlines’ air fleet is on average 22 years old, the ISNA News Agency reported.
“Iranians airlines are facing great losses due to the low price of domestic flight tickets,” Baheri said.
“Iranian airlines are currently having difficulty competing with the foreign airlines,” he added.
“Not having connections with the manufacturers is one of the main problems of the domestic airlines, which has made it difficult for them to repair their airplanes,” Baheri stated.
The head of the association of Iranian airlines Abdolreza Mousavi said in May that Iranian airlines are unable to pay off their fuel debts to the Oil Ministry due to their financial situation.
“Many airplanes of the national fleet have been grounded due to financial problems,” he said, adding that spare parts and components are purchased from second-hand sources with great difficulty.”