By Sara Rajabova
Iran is expected to increase the number of its aircraft up to 500 during the next ten years.
Alireza Jahangirian, head of Iran Civil Aviation Organization has said the country plans to four-fold its passenger transfer rate, ISNA News Agency reported.
"In that case, the country's passenger transfer rate will reach 100 million people," he said.
Earlier, Deputy Director of Iran Civil Aviation Organization Hamid Habibi said Iran has added 5 aircraft to its air fleet from the beginning of the current Iranian fiscal year (which started on March 21).
"Iran totally has 251 airplanes," he said, IRNA News Agency reported. He went on to note that some other aircraft will be added to the country's air fleet by the end of the current year (March 21, 2015).
Jahangirian said in last December that most of Iran's current aircraft would be out of service by 2025 so the country needs to annually add 30 aircraft to its air fleet.
"That would annually cost at least one billion dollars for Iran's aviation industry," Jahangirian said.
The Iranian Roads and Urban Development Minister Abbas Akhoundi earlier voiced dissatisfaction with the situation of Iran's aviation industry.
He said the country's air fleet is old which raises safety concerns, adding that the costumers are not satisfied with the services the domestic airlines provide
Akhoundi went on to note that old airplanes consume more fuel compared to the new ones; therefore the new aircraft are economically justified.
Iran is currently cooperating with Ukraine and Russia in the production and operation of the Antonov An-140 aircrafts which can carry 52 passengers.
After purchasing the production license for the An-140 from Ukraine in 2000, Iran built its first Iran-140 passenger plane in 2003.
Iran has several private and public airline companies in operation, the oldest one being the state-run Iran Air.