Mahan Air

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Mahan Air
هواپیمایی ماهان
Mahan Air Logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded1991; 32 years ago (1991)[1]
Commenced operationsJune 1992; 30 years ago (1992-06)
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer programMahan and Miles
Fleet size54[2]
Parent companyMol-Al-Movahedin Institute
HeadquartersAryashahr, Tehran, Iran
Key peopleHamid Arabnejad, Chairman & CEO[3]
Employees4,719 (2017)[4]

Mahan Airlines, operating under the name Mahan Air (Persian: هواپیمایی ماهان, romanizedHavâpeymâyi-ye Mâhân), is a privately owned Iranian airline based in Tehran, Iran.[5][6] 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.[7] 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]

Developments 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."[8][9][10][11][12]

On 6 April 2016, Mahan Air was banned from flying over Saudi Arabian airspace.[13]

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 Venezuelan presidential crisis in 2019, Mahan Air launched their direct Caracas-Tehran route in April 2019.[14] 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.[15][16] France imposed the same ban on 25 March 2019, and Mahan Air was forced to cancel its 4-weekly service to Paris.[17] 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.[18] 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.[19]

According to the BBC, after Iran officially suspended all flights to and from China in 2020, Mahan Air continued flying to China and elsewhere in February and March of that year.[20] 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 2020 to March 31 2020.[20][21]

Corporate affairs[edit]

Mahan Air is headquartered in Tehran.[22] Its current slogan is "The Spirit of Excellence."[22] Mahan Air loyalty programme, called the Mahan Club "Mahan & Miles", includes access to special lounges and dedicated "fast" queues.[23]


As of January 2020, Mahan Air operates scheduled service to domestic and international destinations in Asia and Africa.


Mahan Air Airbus A310-300
Mahan Air Airbus A340-600
A Mahan Air Boeing 747-400
A former Mahan Air Tupolev Tu-154M

Current fleet[edit]

As of June 2021, the Mahan Air fleet consists of the following aircraft:[2][24][needs update]

Mahan Air fleet
Aircraft In service Orders Passengers Notes
J Y Total
Airbus A300-600 14 24 256 280[25]
Airbus A310-300 10 12 180 192[25] Largest passenger operator.[citation needed]
Includes EP-MED, the last A310 ever built.[citation needed]
Airbus A340-300 4 30 269 299[25]
Airbus A340-600 7 42 276 318[25]
Boeing 747-400 2 26 434 460[26] Reintroduced after 10 years in storage[26]
BAe 146-300 17 100 100[25]
Total 54[2]

Historical fleet[edit]

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 Iran Air and Iran Aseman Airlines
Airbus A321-100 2 2004 2015
BAe 146-300 9 2004 2015
Boeing 747-300M 1 2008 2022 Transferred to Emtrasur Cargo with registration number YV3531 and kept
Boeing 747-400 1 1997 2015
Lockheed L-1011 TriStar Un­known Un­known Un­known Operated by Sky Gate International Aviation[29]
McDonnell Douglas MD-82 1 2008 2009
Tupolev Tu-154M 2 1993 2005
Tupolev Tu-204-120 2 2005 2006


  • On 23 February 2006, a Mahan Air Airbus A310 operating a flight from Tehran, Iran, was involved in a serious incident while on approach to Birmingham International Airport. The aircraft descended to the published minimum descent altitude of 740 ft despite still being 11 nm from the runway threshold. At a point 6 nm from the runway the aircraft had descended to an altitude of 660 ft, which was 164 ft above ground level. Having noticed the descent profile, Birmingham air traffic control issued an immediate climb instruction to the aircraft, however, the crew had already commenced a missed approach, having received a GPWS alert. The aircraft was radar vectored for a second approach during which the flight crew again initiated an early descent. On this occasion, the radar controller instructed the crew to maintain their altitude and the crew completed the approach to a safe landing. The accident investigation determined that the primary cause was the use of the incorrect DME for the approach, combined with a substantial breakdown in the Crew Resource Management. Three safety recommendations were made.[30]
  • On 23 September 2013, a Boeing 747-300 registered EP-MNE operating as Flight 5070 from Kerman to Medina aborted takeoff after V1 and excursed from the runway. All 443 people survived and only 13 were injured. The aircraft was repaired and returned to service but would be involved in another accident two years later.[31]
  • On 13 June 2014, an Airbus A310 registered EP-MNX was struck by a passenger bus while parked at Tehran-Imam Khomeini International Airport. The aircraft was unoccupied at the time of the incident and was repaired.[32]
  • On 15 October 2015, the same aircraft involved in the Flight 5070 incident operating as Flight 1095 from Tehran to Bandar Abbas experienced an engine failure after taking off from Tehran. The aircraft returned to Tehran and made an emergency landing with no injuries to the 441 people on board reported. The aircraft was almost damaged beyond repair. However, in April 2021, after being in a C-Check and being repaired for over six years, the plane was re-activated.[33][34]
  • On 24 December 2015, Mahan Air Flight 112, an Airbus A310 registered EP-MNP rolled off the apron at Istanbul while taxiing at Istanbul Atatürk Airport. All 166 people survived and the aircraft was repaired.[35]
  • On 19 June 2016, a British Aerospace BAe-146-300 registered EP-MOF operating as Flight 4525 from Ahvaz to Khark overran the runway after landing at Khark Airport and was substantially damaged. All 89 people on board survived with no injuries, but the aircraft was declared a hull loss.[36]
  • On 23 July 2020, it was reported that a Mahan Air Airbus A310-300 registered EP-MNF operating as Flight 1152 from Tehran to Beirut, was escorted by American fighter jets over Syrian airspace. The airplane landed in Beirut with three injuries reported.[37]
  • On 3 October 2022, a bomb threat on Mahan Air Flight 81, an Airbus A340, travelling from Tehran to Guangzhou caused the Indian Air Force to scramble fighter jets as the aircraft passed through Indian airspace.[38][39] The threat was received at Delhi air traffic control from Lahore air traffic control [40] when the aircraft was about 200 km west of Delhi. The flight made three circles as it waited to land in Delhi, but was denied. The flight then offered to land at other Indian airports but the requests were not taken up.[41] The bomb threat was later called a hoax on receiving information from Tehran and the only then was the flight able to reach its destination.[42][43]
  • On 26 December 2022, Mahan Air (W5) Flight 63 from Tehran (IKA) to Dubai International Airport (DXB) made an abrupt diversion to Kish International Airport (KIH), as it was approaching Dubai over the Persian Gulf. The Airbus A340 was reportedly ordered to land by Iranian authorities to prevent the wife and daughter of Ali Daei, Iran's most famous footballer, from leaving the country.[44][45]


  1. ^ "About Mahan Air". Mahan Air. Archived from the original on 4 January 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Mahan Fleet". Mahan Air. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  3. ^ "VIP Interview: Hamid Arabnejad". The Business Year. December 2012. Archived from the original on 9 May 2013. Retrieved 28 December 2022.
  4. ^ "هواپیمایی ماهان - درباره ما" [About]. (in Persian). Mahan Air. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  5. ^ "Sales Offices [Iran]". Tehran, Iran: Mahan Air. Retrieved 27 December 2022.
  6. ^ "Contact us". Tehran, Iran: Mahan Air. Retrieved 27 December 2022.
  7. ^ "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.
  8. ^ "Treasury Designates Iranian Commercial Airline Linked to Iran's Support for Terrorism". United States Department of the Treasury. 12 October 2011. Archived from the original on 16 October 2011. Retrieved 27 December 2022.
  9. ^ "Treasury Sanctions Supporters of Iran's Ballistic Missile Program and Terrorism-Designated Mahan Air". United States Department of the Treasury. 24 March 2016. Archived from the original on 21 August 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2022.
  10. ^ "Iran Still Operating U.S.-Sanctioned Airline in Support of Assad, IRGC". Foundation for Defense of Democracies. 17 September 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  11. ^ "Foreign Terrorist Organizations". Archived from the original on 4 November 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  12. ^ "EU terrorist list - Consilium". European Council/Council of the European Union. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  13. ^ "Saudi Arabia bans Iran's Mahan Air from flying into kingdom - Business - NZ Herald News". Archived from the original on 20 April 2016. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  14. ^ "Iran's Mahan Air launches direct flights to Venezuela". 8 April 2019. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  15. ^ "Mahan Air droht Einflugverbot für Deutschland" [Mahan Air faces landing ban in Germany]. (in German). 22 December 2018. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  16. ^ Germany bans Iran’s Mahan Air amid security concerns, AP (The News & Observer reprint), 21 January 2019
  17. ^ "Iran's Mahan Air cancels Paris flights over 'sanctions'". France 24. 19 March 2019. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  18. ^ "Italy bans Mahan's flights". The Iran Project. 2 November 2019. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  19. ^ - "Mahan Air also no longer allowed to fly to Spain" (German) 16 April 2020
  20. ^ a b Waked, Bettina, ed. (5 May 2020). "How an Iranian airline 'helped spread coronavirus'". BBC News. BBC News Arabic. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  21. ^ "Revealed: How rogue Iran airline spread coronavirus through Middle East". Arab News. 7 May 2020. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  22. ^ a b "Travel Classes". Mahan Air. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  23. ^ "Mahan & Miles - Terms & Conditions". Mahan Air. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  24. ^ "Airbus orders and deliveries" (XLS). Airbus S.A.S. 30 June 2021. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  25. ^ a b c d e "Mahan Air - Seat Map". Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  26. ^ a b "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". Archived from the original on 12 August 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  28. ^ "Mahan Airlines Fleet Details and History". Archived from the original on 22 July 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  29. ^ "Mahan Air JY-SGI (Lockheed L-1011 TriStar - MSN 1234) (Ex N1738D)". Airfleets aviation. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  30. ^ "Report on the serious incident to Airbus A310-304, registration F-OJHI, on approach to Birmingham International Airport on 23 February 2006". UK AAIB. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
  31. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 747-3B3 EP-MNE Kerman International Airport (KER)". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  32. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Airbus A310-304 EP-MNX Tehran-Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA)". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  33. ^ "Mahan Air Re-activate The World's Last B747-300 Passenger Aircraft". 26 April 2021. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  34. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 747-3B3 EP-MNE Tehran-Mehrabad Airport (THR)". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  35. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Airbus A310-308 EP-MNP Istanbul-Atatürk International Airport (IST)". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  36. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident British Aerospace BAe-146-300 EP-MOF Khark Airport (KHK)". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  37. ^ "Iran says Mahan Air passenger plane was 'harassed' over Syria by US fighter jets". USA TODAY. Associated Press. 23 July 2020. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  38. ^ "Iranian plane arrives safely in China after fake bomb scare". Reuters. 3 October 2022. Retrieved 4 October 2022.
  39. ^ "Indian jets scrambled after false bomb scare on flight from Iran". Al Jazeera. 3 October 2022. Retrieved 4 October 2022.
  40. ^ Kar, Sharmita (3 October 2022). Goswami, Sohini (ed.). "China-bound Iranian flight with 'bomb threat' spent 40 mins in Indian airspace". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 4 October 2022.
  41. ^ Bailey, Joanna (3 October 2022). "Mahan Air Airbus A340 Receives Bomb Threat Over India". Simple Flying. Retrieved 4 October 2022.
  42. ^ Sengar, Mukesh Singh; Som, Vishnu (3 October 2022). Mitra, Chandrajit (ed.). "Bomb Scare On Iran Flight In Indian Airspace, Air Force Scrambles Jets". NDTV. Retrieved 4 October 2022.
  43. ^ Mukul, Pranav (3 October 2022). "Bomb threat on Iran-China flight while in Indian airspace, IAF jets scrambled". The Indian Express. Retrieved 4 October 2022.
  44. ^ Bodell, Luke (26 December 2022). "Reports Suggest Mahan Air Airbus A340 Diverts To Allow Iran To Detain A Family". Simple Flying. Retrieved 28 December 2022.
  45. ^ "Iranian football legend Ali Daei says family ordered off flight". Al Jazeera. 27 December 2022. Retrieved 28 December 2022.

External links[edit]