Mahan Air

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Mahan Air
هواپیمائی ماهان
Mahan Air Logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded1991; 29 years ago (1991)[1]
Commenced operationsJune 1992; 28 years ago (1992-06)
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer programMahan and Miles
Fleet size53
Parent companyMol-Al-Movahedin Institute (Affiliated with the IRGC)
HeadquartersAryashahr, Tehran, Iran
Key peopleHamid Arabnejad, Chairman & CEO
Employees4,719 (2017) [2]

Mahan Airlines, operating under the name Mahan Air (Persian: هواپیمایی ماهان‎, romanizedHavâpeymâye Mâhân) is a privately owned Iranian airline based in Tehran, Iran.[3][4] It operates scheduled domestic services and international flights to the Far East, Middle East, Central Asia and Europe. Its main home bases are Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport and Mehrabad International Airport.


Early developments[edit]

Mahan Air was established in 1991 as a Full-Service Carrier (FSC), and began operations in June 1992 as Iran's first private airline. The name of Mahan is taken from the historical city of Mahan in Kerman Province. The Airline joined the IATA in 2001 and is owned by Mol-Al-Movahedin Charity Institute (100%).[citation needed]

Three Airbus A300B4 passenger aircraft were acquired in 1999, and in 2002 A310s and A320s joined the fleet. According to the British High Court, three 747-400s were unlawfully taken by Mahan Air from their real owner, Blue Sky Airlines, in 2008, using forged bills of sale. When ordered to bring the aircraft back to Europe, Mahan claimed it could not do so because it was being investigated by the Iranian authorities for fraud, and the aircraft had to be kept in Iran.[5] The fleet has gone through an extensive modernization since 2006 as Boeing 747-400s, Airbus A300-600s, Avro RJ-100s, and Airbus A340-600s were gradually acquired to enable Mahan Air to provide additional capacity to its current destinations, as well as extending its reach to further destinations worldwide. The airline started operations from Tehran to Shanghai in 2011, Guangzhou in 2013 and Beijing in 2014.[citation needed]

The airline carried 5.4 million passengers in 2015 with an average load factor of 77%. In mid-2015 it had a fleet of 60 aircraft, making it the largest airline in Iran based on seat numbers and fleet size. It operates scheduled passenger services to international destinations in Europe, the Far East, and the Middle East. Mahan Air has an extensive domestic route network too. The airline commenced Copenhagen and Paris services in the first half of 2016.[citation needed]

Western sanctions since 2011[edit]

On 12 December 2011, the U.S. Department of Treasury announced the designation of Mahan Air as a material and transportation supporter of terrorism, "for providing financial, material and technological support to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF). Based in Tehran, Mahan Air provides transportation, funds transfers and personnel travel services to the IRGC-QF." [6][7][8][9][10]

On 6 April 2016, Mahan Air was banned from flying over Saudi Arabian airspace.[11]

Between 2015 and 2018, Mahan Air significantly expanded its operations and fleet. Mahan Air targets the business traffic between Asia, especially China, and European destinations. In 2016, besides Germany and Denmark, Mahan Air started service to Milan and Athens; and to Barcelona the following year. It operated up to 15 weekly flights to China until late 2018.[citation needed]

During the 2019 Venezuelan presidential crisis, Mahan Air launched their its direct Caracas-Tehran route in April.[12]

In January 2019, the German government banned Mahan Air from landing in Germany, where it formerly served Munich Airport and Düsseldorf Airport, citing Mahan's involvement in Syria and security concerns.[13][14] France imposed the same ban on 25 March 2019, and Mahan Air was forced to cancel its 4-weekly service to Paris.[15]

On 1 November 2019, the Italian government also announced that the country would ban Mahan Air flights to the country from 15 December 2019. The move came after the United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to Rome, during which he urged Italian officials to stop allowing Iranian airlines to use Italy's airspace.[16] The remaining destinations within the European Union had been Barcelona and seasonally also Athens and Varna since then. However, in April 2020 the airline lost its traffic rights to Spain as well.[17]

Role in the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic[edit]

In February and March, after Iran officially suspended all flights to and from China, Mahan Air continued flying to China and elsewhere.[18]

The airline lied about these flights taking place, according to an investigation by the BBC. Arrival and departure data from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini and Chinese airports shows flights continued into March.[19]

A Feb. 5 flight carried the remaining Iraqi students from Wuhan to Baghdad while a Feb. 6 flight carried 70 Iranian students back from Wuhan to Tehran,

Mahan Air claimed it had ended all flights from China after an Iranian student newspaper criticized the February 6 flight. But data from commercial flight tracker Flightradar24 showed 55 more flights from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, lasting until Feb. 23 (by which time Iran had 43 confirmed COVID-19 cases). The BBC investigation established that Lebanon’s first COVID-19 cases originated on Mahan Air flights. Planes that went to Tehran from China also made onward travel within 24 hours to Barcelona, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur and Istanbul. From February 6 to March 31, a total of 37 Mahan Air flights went to Dubai, 19 flights went to Turkey, 12 went to Malaysia, 8 went to Syria, and 6 went to Thailand. Cabin crew raised concerns about their lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and containment measures on planes but were silenced by the airline. Mahan Air claimed it was sending humanitarian aid to China and that none of the flights were passenger flights. The data shows that although six flights were used for aid, four others were used to evacuate Iranian citizens from China, and there were a total of 157 additional flights with China from February 6 to March 31.[19][20]

Corporate affairs[edit]

Mahan Air is headquartered in Tehran.[21] Its current slogan is "The Spirit of Excellence."[21] Mahan Air loyalty programme, called the Mahan Club "Mahan & Miles", includes access to special lounges and dedicated "fast" queues.[22]


As of January 2020, Mahan Air operates scheduled service to domestic and international destinations in Asia and Africa. Mahan Air is currently not allowed to operate flights into Europe as it's been blacklisted.[23]


A Mahan Air Boeing 747-400
A Mahan Air Airbus A310-300
A Mahan Air Airbus A340-600

As of November 2019, the Mahan Air fleet consists of the following aircraft:[24]

Mahan Air fleet
Aircraft In service Orders Passengers Notes
J Y Total
Airbus A300-600 5 24 256 280[25]
Airbus A310-300 9 12 190 202[25]
Airbus A340-300 5 30 269 299[25]
Airbus A340-600 7 45 263 308[25]
Boeing 747-300 1 26 434 460[25] Currently Stored[26]
Boeing 747-400 1 26 434 460[26] Reintroduced after 10 years of being stored[26]
BAe 146-300 10 100 100[25]
Total 38

Former fleet[edit]

A former Mahan Air Airbus A320-200

Mahan Air has operated the following aircraft types:[27][28]

Mahan Air historical fleet
Aircraft Total Introduced Retired Notes
Airbus A300B2 3 2006 2008
Airbus A300B4 5 1999 2013
Airbus A300-600 10 2000 2006
Airbus A310-300 4 2004 2006
Airbus A320-200 7 2004 2014 Transferred to IranAir and Iran Aseman Airlines
Airbus A321-100 2 2004 2015
BAe 146-300 9 2004 2015
Boeing 747-300M 1 2008 2015
Lockheed L-1011 TriStar Unknown Unknown Unknown
McDonnell Douglas MD-82 1 2008 2009
McDonnell Douglas MD-83 2 2006 2007
Tupolev Tu-154M 2 1993 2005
Tupolev Tu-204-120 2 2005 2006


  • On July 23, 2020, it was reported that a Mahan Air airplane, an Airbus A310-300 registered EP-MNF operating as Mahan Air flight 1152 from Tehran to Beirut was escorted by American fighter jets over Syrian airspace. The airplane landed in Beirut with two injuries reported.[29]


  1. ^ "About Mahan Air". Mahan Air. Archived from the original on 4 January 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  2. ^ "هواپیمایی ماهان - درباره ما" [About]. (in Persian). Mahan Air. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  3. ^ "Sales Offices [Iran]". Mahan Air Tower, Azadegan St., Karaj Highway, Tehran 1481655761- Iran: Mahan Air. Archived from the original on 21 July 2009. Retrieved 17 February 2011.CS1 maint: location (link)
  4. ^ "Contact us". Mahan Air Tower, Azadegan St., Karaj Highway, Tehran 1481655761- Iran: Mahan Air. Archived from the original on 19 June 2011. Retrieved 17 February 2011.CS1 maint: location (link)
  5. ^ "Mahan Air & Anor v Blue Sky One Ltd & Ors [2011] EWCA Civ 544". BAILII. 11 May 2011. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  6. ^ "Treasury Designates Iranian Commercial Airline Linked to Iran's Support for Terrorism". United States Department of the Treasury. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  7. ^ "Treasury Sanctions Supporters of Iran's Ballistic Missile Program and Terrorism-Designated Mahan Air". United States Department of the Treasury. 24 March 2016. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  8. ^ "Iran Still Operating U.S.-Sanctioned Airline in Support of Assad, IRGC". Foundation for Defense of Democracies. 17 September 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 November 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "EU terrorist list - Consilium". European Council/Council of the European Union. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Iran's Mahan Air launches direct flights to Venezuela". 8 April 2019. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  13. ^ "Mahan Air droht Einflugverbot für Deutschland" [Mahan Air faces landing ban in Germany]. (in German). 22 December 2018. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  14. ^ Germany bans Iran’s Mahan Air amid security concerns, AP (The News & Observer reprint), 21 January 2019
  15. ^ "Iran's Mahan Air cancels Paris flights over 'sanctions'". France 24. 19 March 2019. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  16. ^ "Italy bans Mahan's flights". The Iran Project. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  17. ^ - "Mahan Air also no longer allowed to fly to Spain" (German) 16 April 2020
  18. ^ Lim, Kevjn (30 March 2020). "How an Iranian Airline Tied to Terrorism Likely Spread the Virus (and Lied About It)". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  19. ^ a b Waked, Bettina, ed. (5 May 2020). "How an Iranian airline 'helped spread coronavirus'". BBC News. BBC News Arabic. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  20. ^ "Revealed: How rogue Iran airline spread coronavirus through Middle East". Arab News. 7 May 2020. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  21. ^ a b "Travel Classes". Mahan Air. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  22. ^ "Mahan & Miles - Terms & Conditions". Mahan Air. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  23. ^ "International Route Network". Mahan Air. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  24. ^ "Mahan Fleet". Mahan Air. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  25. ^ a b c d e f "Mahan Air - Seat Map". Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  26. ^ a b c "Mahan Air's Boeing 747 Is Back In Service After 10 Years Of Retirement". Simple Flying. 8 October 2019. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  27. ^ "Mahan Air Fleet". Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  28. ^ "Mahan Airlines Fleet Details and History". Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  29. ^

External links[edit]

Media related to Mahan Air at Wikimedia Commons