Iranians are flying around in airplanes that are at least 25 years old. There have been crashes and many near-crashes.
“The plane is struggling, going up and down and side to side,” says Hooshang Amirahmadi, a Rutgers professor and president of the American Iranian Council, a nonprofit working to improve U.S.-Iranian relations, recalling a flight in Iran about a dozen years ago. “The plane almost crashed.”
That was an old Russian plane. But Iran can’t get new parts for its aging western-made planes because of sanctions. Western companies were briefly allowed to apply for licenses to export things like spare airplane parts to Iran.
“This is a relatively small market,” says Joel Johnson, an aerospace trade analyst at the Teal Group.
He says, for example, Boeing has a backlog of orders for new planes.
“There’s a limit to how much enthusiasm you bring to the table when you have a very strong backlog already,” he says.
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