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Iran’s Ailing Aviation Industry Opens Private Jet Sales To Citizens

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The head of the Civil Aviation Organization has announced that the sale of seven-seater jets is now open to all citizens as Iran’s aviation industry struggles to stay afloat while one third live below the poverty line.

Speaking to ILNA news agency, Mohammad Mohammadi-Bakhsh, said that “many people are currently taking advantage of the opportunity, including traders, officials, sports teams, and economic teams.”

The announcement comes at a time when Iran’s economy faces record inflation and widespread poverty, the ability to purchase such luxury jets limited to the country’s wealthy political elite who would also be the limited few to be given security clearance to operate such aircraft over Iranian airspace.

The average Iranian is currently struggling to survive with at least one third now living below the poverty line in the last 18 months, the average wage now as low as $400 a month. Basic food costs have become prohibitive and commodities like gas soaring. 

Ongoing sanctions for Iran’s nuclear program, rights abuses and support to Russia’s war on Ukraine have heavily impacted Iran’s aviation sector including import restrictions and domestic production limitations.

The Iranian aviation fleet holds a meager inventory, with just 330 aircraft, and less than 200 actively utilized. The industry is struggling to meet operational aircraft targets, with only 180 aircraft currently in service against a planned 250 by the end of last year.

Despite Mohammadi-Bakhsh’s previous announcements of a surge in operational aircraft around Norouz, which saw grounded planes returning to service and boosting numbers to 178 during the festive season, the sector still falls short. Last year’s efforts reportedly added over 50 aircraft and helicopters to the fleet, yet the target remained unmet.