Iran Air’s former bureau in central London, opposite the Ritz Hotel, used to draw the attention of passers-by because its window display featured a large aircraft model unlike any other in the capital.
Shown in full Iran Air livery, the BAC-Aérospatiale Concorde was both striking and anachronistic – a symbol of pre-revolutionary Iranian opulence still being used to promote the Islamic republic’s flag-carrier, over 30 years since it was blocked from purchasing Western jets.
Iran Air might have struggled to justify a Concorde acquisition on economic grounds. And now that the carrier is emerging from its time-capsule bubble, it is facing similar considerations over another flagship.
Somewhere in Tehran there might be a carefully-crafted strategic plan balancing the intake of capacity against realistic demand. But if there is, Iran Air is keeping it to itself.
Intentions are unclear, and statements from officials suggest there is still plenty of vagueness over delivery schedules, or even whether it will convert the entire headline deal with Airbus into meaningful orders.
Modernising Iran’s air transport system will take more than extravagant purchasing. The country surrendered its prominent position to the Gulf carriers – and catching up requires rational level-headedness, not a shopping-while-hungry mentality. Iran Air won’t want more aircraft models showing what might have been.
Source: Flight International