The AFP is reporting that a Boeing 747 operated by Iran’s Mahan Air detached from the plane on Thursday shortly after takeoff from Tehran.
The 747, with 300 passengers on board, was on a flight from the capital’s Mehrabad airport to Bandar Abbas in southern Iran when one of its engines crashed into a nearby field, forcing the jumbo to return and make an emergency landing. No injuries were reported.
Iran which is suffering from severe sanctions have found it difficult to obtain much needed upgrades to its aging fleet of 140 operating aircraft. Although the restrictions were partly lifted by an interim agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme allowing the sale of spare parts, direct sales of aircraft remained banned.
Once sanctions are lifted, Iran plans to buy Airbus and Boeing passenger planes through long-term payment agreements, Transport Minister Abbas Akhoundi said last month.
To purchase new planes, “our negotiations have been mostly with Airbus and Boeing, and we have provided them with our plans and needs until 2020,” he said.
In August, a civil aviation official said his country planned to buy 80 to 90 Airbus and Boeing planes a year until it has a new 300-strong fleet.