Yet another one of our eagle-eyed readers has raised an important and interesting question:
HAS ANY ONE NOTICED THAT THERE ARE AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK FLIGHTS TO MANSTON BY IRAN AIR? I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW WHAT THEY ARE CARRYING TO THE U.K.
You can tell it’s important, because it’s all in CAPITALS.
And it’s interesting because not many Iran Air planes are even allowed to fly anywhere near Europe… Here’s what our beloved Foreign & Commonwealth Office have to say:
Safety and Security – Local Travel – Air Travel
The state carrier, Iran Air, has been refused permission to operate services to the EU with the exception of 14 aircraft of type A300, eight aircraft of type A310 and one aircraft of type B737. This restriction has been put in place because Iran Air has been unable to demonstrate that a number of aircraft in its fleet (including those of type A320, Boeing 727, B747-100, B747-200 and B747-SP) meet international safety standards.
You should be aware that Iranian airlines suffer from an increased probability of accident. Reports suggest that the accident rate among Iranian airlines is approximately four times that of airlines in the Middle East. Many of the planes flown on domestic routes in Iran are ageing. There have been a number of serious accidents in recent years.
On 9 January 2011, a 727 Boeing domestic Iran Air flight crashed near Orumieh in North-West Iran. Of the 105 passengers, at least 72 were reported killed and 33 injured. The cause of the crash is not yet known.
On 24 January 2010, a Taban Airlines Topolov plane flying from Esfhan to Mashad damaged its tail while landing and caught fire. 42 of the 157 passengers on board were injured.
On 24 July 2009, an Aria Airlines Ilyushin plane flying from Tehran to Mashhad skidded off the runway whilst landing and hit a wall. 16 of the 153 passengers and crew on board were killed.
On 15 July 2009, a Caspian Airlines plane crashed 75 miles northwest of Tehran shortly after takeoff from Imam Khomeini Airport. All 168 passengers and crew onboard were killed. The cause of the crash has not yet been revealed.
I would have thought that after coming unnervingly close to annihilating Ramsgate with an Afghani plane full to bursting with aviation fuel, our Kiwi chums who run Manston would be super-sensitive about the calibre of airlines that they allow to operate over our heads. Well, I can dream, can’t I?
Anyway, here at NNF HQ, facts win prizes! So, there’s prizes that are notionally worth thousands of dollars on offer for the first of you to tell me exactly what type of aircraft Iran Air is flying in, what their schedule is (if there is one), and what they’re carrying.