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Aeroflot’s Airbus A330 flies to Iran for repairs to avoid sanctions

Aeroflot, Russia’s national carrier, has flown one of its Airbus A330-300 wide-body planes to Iran for repairs in order to avoid Western sanctions imposed when Moscow invaded Ukraine in 2022.

That is the first time in the airline’s history that a plane has been transported to Iran for maintenance.

According to the news website RBC, the jet flew to Tehran on April 5, 2023, and is being studied by engineers from Mahan Air, Iran’s major airline. The provider will do maintenance on the Airbus A330 aircraft [in Iran] on a variety of tasks. According to an Aeroflot spokeswoman, “the organization [Mahan Air] has the appropriate material basis, credentials, and significant expertise, and the provider executes maintenance with a high degree of quality.”

In addition to Western restrictions prohibiting Russian planes from traveling over US and EU airspace, rules prohibit enterprises from doing maintenance on its jets or providing spare parts to the carrier.

It is believed that Iran has amassed substantial knowledge in airplane maintenance over a number of decades as a result of its own sanctions hampering the country’s capacity to get assistance from foreign sources.

Iran, a Russian ally, also opposes Western sanctions, making it a valuable partner for Aeroflot.

In March 2022, Russian Transport Minister Vitaly Savelyev stated that the government will exploit “Iran’s experience” to avoid Western sanctions.

Aeroflot had previously utilized Hong Kong-based HAECO for aircraft maintenance. In 2021, the airline inked a long-term arrangement for servicing and repairs with a Chinese MRO company.

Aeroflot operates about 170 Airbus and Boeing aircraft.

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