View Full Version : Boeing 737 operated by Fly Armenia lands in Iran

Timmy Tomkins
6th Mar 2021, 15:18
It seems that a 737-300 destined for Ukraine for servicing, diverted from the route and landed in Iran. The Armenian authorities say it was hi-jacked, allegedly there was an emrgency declared once over Iran; the whereabouts are unknown.
One theory is that it is a sanction busting opertion but there is a surprising slence all around. Any news or theories?

6th Mar 2021, 16:15
Maybe the answer(s) here


BTW...gotta luv this paragraph :)
"Four Airbus A340s were bought by Al-Naser Airlines in Iraq, and the airline decided to fly all of them to Kazakhstan for maintenance on the same day. All four A340s declared an emergency above Iran and landed in Tehran, subsequently joining the fleet of Mahan Air."
Simple as a piece of cake :ok:

6th Mar 2021, 16:47
Otherwise they would have shot it down.

6th Mar 2021, 23:22
There was an attempted hijacking of an Iran Air F100 around the same time.


7th Mar 2021, 13:58
Well, the oldschool way of delivering aircraft to sanctioned Iran.

ATC Watcher
8th Mar 2021, 09:14
Well, this has been going on for years, surprised that someone would be surprised today for an old 737
Just looking at the Iranian air force fleet to see there are a lot of" possible" ways to bypass US rsanctions.
27 C-130 , 5 P3 Orion, and 2 Chinooks helicopters , in addition to 60+ F5s , 3 707s and 6 747s.. lots of maintenance and pare parts to obtain too.:hmm:..

Timmy Tomkins
8th Mar 2021, 10:23
Interesting; not everyone knows that. If there was a mayday declared and no further response then that kinda confirms it.

9th Mar 2021, 11:10
ATC Watcher

You forgot the F-14 Tomcats!

9th Mar 2021, 11:46
ATC Watcher

I think you will find these aircraft and the F14s, were bought legitimately before the 1979 deposing of the Shar.
Spares would be another issue.

9th Mar 2021, 13:25
ATC Watcher, if it's allowed by PPRuNe, may I offer this link as an interesting insight, at least regarding the Iranian Air Force acquisitions.


Indeed, as pointed out by Dixi188, their C130s, B707s and B747s were purchased pre 1979. Quite a few (if not all) 747s were in fact ex TWA.

ATC Watcher
9th Mar 2021, 15:49
Thanks a lot Pistonprop for that very interesting "historical" article on the F-14s that explains a lot, I had left F-14s out of my list because I was not aware of any F-14 being "diverted" to Iran for spares since no-one else outside the US has them .I did not know about the US decision to destroy their Mojave desert stored ones and "neutralize" the ones in museums . Very interesting .

For the other types I mentioned earlier there are more airframes of those types currently in Iran than the number purchased before 1979, some if not most of the new arrivals are used for cheap spares . I went in Iran a few times professionally and saw them, they do not hide them ,Tehran .Meharabad airport has close to one hundred parked all around the airport for instance in various states. , Go on Google earth and see some of the inventive parking methods..
Anyway this spare parts chase is most probably soon coming to an end with the arrival on the market of large metal 3D printers that will certainly one day or the other finds its way to Iran via a friendly country.

9th Mar 2021, 17:43
Having just taken a peep, it looks like a spotters paradise! I think there was a slight misunderstanding on my part along the way. Indeed "spare parts" for their ageing military and civil fleets do regularly find their way to Iran.

Easy Street
9th Mar 2021, 19:34
Anyway this spare parts chase is most probably soon coming to an end with the arrival on the market of large metal 3D printers that will certainly one day or the other finds its way to Iran via a friendly country.

Colour me sceptical on that 'soon', at least as far as forged (in the metallurgical sense!) components are concerned. In any case I think it unlikely that Iran, with its domestic petrochemical, nuclear and aircraft industries, is limited by its manufacturing capabilities; more likely that lack of technical data is the blocker to making its own spare parts. Additive manufacturing doesn't solve that problem, and introduces a whole new world of certification issues.

10th Mar 2021, 04:50
This method of obtaining aircraft by a country subject to sanctions isn’t unprecedented. In 1973 Air Rhodesia acquired 3 B720s and filed flight plans for various destinations in Southern Africa. At the last minute they simply diverted and flew onto Rhodesia.

Their Air Force was able to acquire aircraft and spare parts through diverse and ingenious methods, and remained highly effective throughout the war.

Sanctions make middle men rich, depending on the nature of the goods, price premiums from 10% upwards and discounts of 10% and more are needed. For something that can simply be relabelled to disguise its origin, such as beef, the discount is at the lower end. Spares for military aircraft are subject to much greater controls and premiums paid are at the higher end.

One thing is certain, the broker involved in the B737 deal made a lot of money.