Iran Air to take-off with 'first ever' female CEO

Iran Air to take-off with 'first ever' female CEO
Iran appointed Farzaneh Sharafbafi as the head of Iran Air, Fars News reported on Tuesday, the first female to lead the national carrier.
2 min read
12 July, 2017
Iran Air will be led by a female CEO for the first time [Getty]

Iran's national carrier could soon be led by a female, officials said, after confirming a replacement in the airline's leadership.

Iran Air's current CEO Farhad Parvaresh will be replaced by Farzaneh Sharafbafi, local news reported on Tuesday, making her the first ever female to head the airline.

Sharafbafi, the current Director-General of Iran Air’s Research Department, is also the first female Iranian with a PhD in aerospace and received several awards for her work in geophysics,  Fars News said.

The news was announced by Iran's Minister of Roads and Urban Engineering Abbas Akhundi who published the decision in a statement online.

Akhundi said that it is incumbent upon Sharafbafi to develop the air fleet and its equipment, develop the work of Iranian Airlines to compete at the regional and international levels and maintain the safety and security standards in the aircraft of these lines, which is the largest in the country.

The news comes after Iran agreed to buy 30 737 MAX jets for $3.0 billion in its second major aviation deal since sanctions were eased last year, US plane maker Boeing confirmed in April. 

"Boeing confirms the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with IranAseman Airlines, expressing the airline's intent to purchase 30 Boeing 737 MAX airplanes with a list price value of $3 billion," the US group said in a statement.

"The agreement also provides the airline with purchase rights for 30 additional 737 MAXs," it added.

Delivery is expected to start in 2022 and a contract of this magnitude "creates or sustains approximately 18,000 jobs in the United States".

Iran has been desperate to renew its ageing fleet of planes, but was largely blocked from dealing with major aircraft manufacturers until a 2015 accord with world powers that eased global sanctions in exchange for curbs to its nuclear programme.

However, the US has maintained its own sanctions, which block almost all trade with Iran, but plane manufacturers were given a specific exemption under the nuclear deal.

In September, Washington approved the sale of 80 Boeing and 100 Airbus planes to Iran Air and the first few Airbus jets have already arrived in Tehran.

The Islamic republic projects a demand for between 400 and 500 new commercial airliners over the next decade.