(Traveled on February 13-20, 2016)
After having visited Iran for two times – in 2014 and 2015, my friend Yukihiro and I decided to organize a tour for aircraft enthusiasts to give more people the chance to experience flying the Iranian classics as well as to see the beautiful country in general.
I visited Iran for the first time in November 2014 with the sole purpose of flying on the 747SP sightseeing flight. However, during my visit (which lasted less than 48 hours), I fell in love with the country. The people were extremely friendly and the atmosphere reminded me of Europe five or ten years ago.
As such, I decided to return in 2015, this time in September. After another successful trip and after meeting more friendly Iranians and flying more classic aircraft, I was wondering when my next trip to Iran would be.
Luckily, my friend Yukihiro (YK Aviation) mentioned he wanted to go to Iran again and after a bit of discussion, we decided not only to go by ourselves, but organize a tour combining flying classic aircraft and sightseeing in Iran.
Eventually, we gathered eight participants bringing the total size of the group to ten people, and so we started planning the tour and arranging all the necessary flights, hotels and so on.
We called the tour “Iranian Skies & Cities 2016”, and offered two versions of it – short and long course.
To get to Kuala Lumpur where the tour would start, Yukihiro, his girlfriend Akiko, and I decided to take Delta Air Lines flight from Tokyo Narita to Singapore, and then another fifth freedom flight – with Oman Air – to Kuala Lumpur.
For the way back, I decided to take Malaysia Airlines from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore in order to connect to the return portion of my Delta Air Lines flight back to Tokyo.
Table of Contents
Since the trip was long and included many highlights, the report is split into multiple parts. You can chose the part you are interested in reading by clicking here or by selecting from the table of contents below:
One of the main goals of our visit was to fly the Boeing 727 of Iran Aseman, and luckily we got to do so twice. Along the way we also got a chance to see a not so visited city – Ahwaz.
After returning from Ahwaz, we spent a couple of hours in Tehran before continuing on to Isfahan where we stayed in the historic Abbasi Hotel.
Day three was spent sightseeing in Isfahan before returning back to Tehran late at night on a Qeshm Air Fokker 100.
A day filled with aviation including a joyride on a chartered Antonov An-74 and a visit to FARS – one of the largest aircraft maintenance companies in Iran.
Persepolis near Shiraz used to be the centre of the Persian Empire. To take a look at it and other sights in Shiraz, we took a Caspian Airlines Boeing 737-300. Our return flight was planned with Kish Air MD-83, but we ended up taking Caspian Airlines instead.
On our last full day in Iran, we did a half-day trip to Mashad in order to fly on Mahan Air’s Airbus A300-600 and Iran Air’s Airbus A300B2. In the afternoon, some of us spent a couple of hours spotting at Mehrabad airport.
Starting with a quick trip to Tehran’s bazaar, we continued on to spend most of the afternoon spotting at Mehrabad airport. At night, we transferred to Imam Khomeini airport to take our Iran Air flight back to Kuala Lumpur.
Just like on my first two trips, I was amazed by the country. While flying classic aircraft was one of the main reasons for visiting, it is necessary not to forget the historic and people aspect of the country.
Our group was able to try a number of Iranian airlines and to fly many aircraft types including classics such as Boeing 747-200, Boeing 727-200, Antonov An-74, McDonnell Douglas MD-83, Airbus A300-600 and Airbus A300B2.
Besides that, we were able to see the beautiful cities of Tehran, Ahwaz, Isfahan, Shiraz and Mashad.
Last, but not least, we were able to meet tens of Iranians all of whom shared one trait – their hospitality.
Due to the trip being a big success, Yukihiro and I are currently planning another trip to Iran which we hope to see you on!