Iran seems to be a hot target for many airlines since the now famous agreement was signed to relax and hopefully finally abolish sanctions on the country which were imposed some decades ago.
Korean & Uzbekistan - new partners?
The Iranian aviation scene dropped into oblivion since the Shah was deposed many, many years ago. This was mainly due to sanctions imposed by western governments, particularly the U.S., after diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Iran were iced up.
Iran Air is in the process of ordering many new passenger aircraft, mainly from Airbus, in order to replenish what is left of their very old fleet.
Many other carriers are openly wooing the new Iranian aviation sector in the hope that they will be allowed a better entry, form joint-ventures or help develop Iranian carrier’s future maintenance, passenger or cargo handling.
A strange combination has now come to light.
Korean Air Cargo and Uzbekistan Airways are reportedly launching a new cargo partnership which is aimed at flying cargo within Korean Air’s network to Tehran Airport through Uzbekistan Air’s hub at Navoi Airport.
Both carriers already operate a similar venture by feeding air cargo along the same route into Frankfurt Airport.
It is planned that Korean Air Cargo will have access to Uzbekistan Airways two weekly Boeing 767 freighter services to Tehran commencing immediately.
This will enable Korean Air Cargo to gain a strong foothold into the Iranian air freight market almost overnight.
Iran has high demand for Korean products
Relations between Iran and Korea are said to be very good and it is not that long ago that the Iranian government has granted Korean Air traffic rights for five weekly wide-body passenger flights from Seoul to Tehran. The permission also allows Korean Air to carry cargo on the inbound and outbound sectors.
Korean products are expected to be in high demand in Iran in the future.
It will take time before Iran Air can re-establish itself as the international air carrier it once was.
Freighters are so far not on Iran Air’s order books and this gives Korean and other airlines the opportunity to form this type of operation to gain a firm foothold in the new Iranian economic sector.
John Mc Donagh