It’s no secret that Iran really needs new airplanes. As a result of the US relaxing sanctions on Iran, they’re starting to get access to markets they haven’t had in decades. One of the first things they placed an order for? Airplanes.
It’s been difficult for them to get parts for their older fleet and the planes themselves are largely past their useful life. While there are still some hurdles, those initial orders they placed a few months ago appear to have cleared one of the final large obstacles to becoming reality.
It’s not surprising the US government is supporting the Boeing order. What was a little surprising to me is the makeup of the order:
A Boeing spokesman said the company was hoping to sell 46 single-aisle 737s; 30 wide-body 777s and four 747s.
The size of the 737 order makes sense to me. Iran is not that big geographically, about twice the size of Texas. 737s should work nicely to connect outlying Iranian cities to Tehran. Given Iran’s geographical location, those planes can easily reach large parts of Europe, Africa and Asia as well.
A total of 30 777s is a lot of big planes. I would expect Iran Air to be heavier on economy seating versus large premium cabins, so probably 400+ seats? That’s a lot of haul to a lot of places. Given the size of that widebody commitment, the 4 747s is a bit odd to me.
I love the 747. There’s something about walking upstairs to take your seat on a plane. I like the Airbus A380 as well, but the 747 was the original “queen of the skies”. The new 747-8i is a wonderful plane. Lufthansa, the launch customer, has done excellent things with the premium product as well.
Boeing has slowed the pace of 747 production to 6 planes per year, so an order of 4 frames isn’t likely to be the deciding factor one way or another on the future of the 747.
I’m just not entirely sure where the specific need for the 747 lies with Iran. They have 747s now (pictures in the NY Times article). Tehran is a big city (8 million-ish people) but part of why the 747 has become less relevant is the introduction of planes like the 787 and A350 that can still transport a large number of folks long distances (and don’t need four engines to do it).
Maybe Iran is just banking on being able to produce cheap oil to keep those 4 engines turning on the 747s…….
The post I Wouldn’t Have Guessed Iran Would Be The Reason Boeing Kept Selling The 747 was published first on Pizza in Motion