Words Fail: New Iran To Venezuela Flight Starts Today

Filed Under: Other Airlines

This sure is an interesting new route.

Mahan Air, which is Iran’s largest and oldest private airline, has just launched a new direct route between Tehran, Iran, and Caracas, Venezuela. I’m not sure how exactly to describe the route, really.

This was more than a charter, but as of now the frequency of the new route isn’t yet known. They’re doing this to support Venezuela against the US backed opposition.

Mahan Air has in the past been accused of transporting military equipment to war zones.

As reported by Reuters:

Mehr news agency quoted the spokesman of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization Reza Jafarzadeh as saying that the route was launched in the early hours of Monday, and the plane will carry foreign ministry officials to Caracas.

Jafarzadeh said a delegation from Mahan Air was also traveling to Caracas to discuss maintaining regular flights between the two countries.

The flight has already landed in Caracas, and was operated by an A340-600 that took 15hr12min to complete the 7,315 mile flight. Here’s the Flightradar24 page for the flight.

I can’t even imagine what all was transported on that flight, and what it must have been like on board. This obviously wasn’t a standard flight, in the sense that no tickets went on sale in advance.

The carrier’s A340-600s used to fly for Virgin Atlantic and Lufthansa, and they never converted their interiors. Due to sanctions, Mahan Air hasn’t been able to buy new planes, so all of their planes used to operate for other airlines.

I’ll be curious to see how long the plane sits on the ground, and going forward, how often this route will operate. I can’t figure out whether they were sending over some kind of special “shipment” of some sort, if this was simply intended as a slap in the face to the US, or what.

I’m so curious how many people were on this flight…

Update: At a later point, Venezuela’s flag carrier, Conviasa, launched nonstop flights between Caracas and Damascus, Syria.

(Tip of the hat to Giuseppe, image courtesy of Papas Dos)

  1. Venezuela used to be one of my favourite countries to visit – one of the most beautiful places in the world. I’m way too cowardly to go there now. My last trip was more than 5 years ago.

    And I’m also way too cowardly to spend any time in Iran – not because I worry particularly about visiting Iran, but because I don’t want forever after to be targeted by US immigration goons who “think” that visiting one of the oldest civilisations in the world as a tourist must make me a terrorist.

    So a regular flight between the two countries? No, I’m leaving this one to you.

  2. well noticed, all kinds of foul stuff coming in, possible escape route for ex president coming out. if US has to bomb something it should be this airport with this aircraft still sitting at the gate

  3. Mahan Air is such a weird airline. Took their flight in economy from Moscow to Bangkok via Tehran. The planes were A340-600 (ex-Virgin) on three of the flights, with Virgin interior and everything, and A310-300 on one of the flights, with updated interior. No IFE screens were operational (they were not intended to be, I suppose), but otherwise the flights were pretty good. Nice cabin crew, tasty meals, no alcohol of course. They were seating economy passengers in ex-Virgin Premium economy free of charge.
    For whatever reason they allowed economy passengers from the Moscow and Bangkok flights to access their Tehran Business Lounge free of charge – for 2,5-3 hours, but this policy was not published anywhere. The lounge was very decent, with delicious Iranian ice-cream, hot dishes, but no alcohol, of course.
    They also gave away free headscarves for women before disembraking in Tehran on both ways, and those scarves were made of wool – pretty nice quality.
    Flights from Moscow and to Moscow had like 15 passengers (on a huge A340-600), so who knows what they are carrying on these flights.

  4. I think the Turkish flight to Istanbul is weirder because it is so frequent and is actually on sale.

    This situation is similar to how Havana had a collection of random flights to other communist countries, like Angola. More about geopolitics than good business.

  5. First of all, thank you. This si my favorite aviation blog and seeing an article being published because of me is so cool. Keep the good work!

    Pd: i don’t know if you remember but i was the guy who told you about de Avior flight to miami.

  6. Is this a surprise? There used to be a flight with a stop in Damascus, to boot. I believe it was operated by Iran Air, codeshare with Conviasa.

  7. Conviasa, Venezuela’s national airline, used to fly to Tehran as well. They used an A340-200 and the flight also included a stop in Damascus (and i’m not sure but maybe Dakar as well). This surely must have been one of the most exoctic flights ever operated, and i can’t help but wonder what kind of cargo these airbuses transported (because surely there were not mare passengers).

    But is still think that Turkish’s flight to CCS via HAV is even wierder than Mahan’s flight.

  8. I wonder how Turkish, famed for its catering, does the flight returning to Turkey? I imagine it’s difficult to get catering in Venezuela.

  9. There may be all sorts of exotic cargo, but these are both oil-producing nations: I’d imagine there’s a fairly significant interchange of engineers and technicians.

  10. I reckon this flight will be an easy way for corrupt chavistas to escape the country once it starts to collapse

  11. An excellent example of why isolation rarely produces intended results. When we isolate people or countries we do not like, they do not wither and die, they find others like them and grow.
    This is best seen in politics, we did not expect the current administration because we isolated and forgot about certain groups, because their views were different than ours. They grew and elected the current placeholder.
    Now that placeholder has forgotten that principle in foreign policy and seeks to isolate instead of the engage, instead of the intended consequences, they are hopping in bed together (nearly every country and head of state is guilty of this at some point)

    This is why we travel, when we engage, we develop our own conclusions and we can realize that most people in the world are very mich like us, and have very similar hopes and dreams. These hopes and dreams reach far beyond the rhetoric.

  12. People gotta trade…so…

    Seemingly, there are a few thousand Iranians living and trading in Caracas (and elsewhere in Venezuela). Was told this recently on a DXB-MAD flight on by a gentleman who was on his way from Iran to Venezuela thru EK and Air Europa. That would be a long flight (and lots of tier points!)

  13. It’s a known airline to transport soldiers and money from the revolutionary guards. There are weekly flights of Mahan to Damascus since two years.

  14. Poor Venezuela. I remember when oil-rich Caracas was one of the first cities served by Air France’s new Concordes…

  15. These two nations are close. Iran is offering support. I would imagine a ton of cargo in the belly, other supplies in the cabin. Also easy escape for some “elites” that are left. Just load up the cash and go. Not the first time it has happened.

  16. Most likely a low visibility way to smuggle in Iranian Rev Guard goons to suppress the ongoing revolution against the Socialist Thugocracy. Probably because it’s getting harder and harder to get the local military to kill their own neighbors who are protesting. But it won’t work, because the more people suffer and starve, the less worried they are about being shot. 😉

    Venezuela, with the largest oil reserves in the world, used to be the most prosperous country in South America. Now, thanks to Socialism, they have this (google the title):

    “Venezuela returns to ‘Middle Ages’ during power outages”

    It’s a good preview of our own future under the New Green Deal, once oil and gas, not to mention cows and planes, have been banned.

  17. @Robert Hanson is right!

    @MD so a regime that shoots and starves its own people we should “engage” in dialogue with? What are they going to talk about? The yams they barely have to support feeding people?

  18. What a bizarre article. They’re two close allies, it makes perfect logical sense to have a flight between them…

    As to the people saying it’s a route for Venezuelans to escape, they already have their own airline…

    I know Americans have a reputation for being clueless about the rest of the world, but come on!

  19. A strategic flight between two close allies. Just because the US and EU deem the two countries problematic doesn’t make it so for the rest of the world. I am frankly surprised by the daft content in some articles on this blog. Furthermore, sanctions placed on Iran prevent them from purchasing aircraft from the US and EU only. They are still able to buy aircraft from other nations, such as Russia and even Brazil, if Brazil is willing to sell.

  20. Morons writing about socialism on this blog bring laughter and joy as I wait in LAX for a flight. Socialism didn’t fail Venezuela – government mismanagement did. There is a difference.

  21. @Nice Paul,

    Max Blumenthal and many other Americans are currently visiting in Venezuela. Guaidó (and his coup), who is the product of a decade-long project overseen by Washington’s elite regime change trainers, has failed miserably!

    Don’t hesitate, go, visit, and enjoy!

  22. @Kalboz “Don’t hesitate, go, visit, and enjoy!”

    Highest murder rate in the world. AA teaches it’s flight crews how to avoid kidnapping, which is endemic. The average person has lost some 25 lbs, not from exercise, but from starvation. Now the Capital is without electricity, the hospitals are closed, the subway no longer runs, the shelves in the stores are empty. So, sure: “visit and enjoy”.

    @Kent “Socialism didn’t fail Venezuela – government mismanagement did”

    As was and is true of every true Socialist country in history. (Take note, Sweden is not a Socialist country; it’s a Corporate capitalist country with a strong social welfare safety net.)

    There has never been a Socialist “experiment”, from Jonestown to the Soviet Union and North Korea, that didn’t end in mass poverty, brutal oppression, and eventually starvation. @40 Million starved to death under Stalin, @70 Million under Mao, @2 Million in just one year in North Korea.

    Government mismanagement is the very definition of Socialism. 😉

  23. Why do Americans politicians think they are trying to be the world law?? forcing sanctions on countries that dont abide by them and blackmailing countires that the U.S protects to boycott whoever the U.S is having a rift with by threatening them with even shittier deals and no “protection”
    The U.S are murderers and thieves, taxing the life out of anyone they can, and stealing resources, fabricating problems and escalating unstable situations to move in like a knight on a white horse only to take some glory and all money, power at stake.
    They should keep out of Iran and Venezualas business.

  24. Actually, Iran Air used to fly this route as a schedule. Not kidding. I am recalling it some 10 or so years ago and they were using a 1970’s 747-SP if you can believe it. Someone actually flew it and did a YouTube post of it. Not sure if its still circulating around the interwebs but it was quite fascinating. That old SP was like a time capsule.

  25. @FNT Delta Diamond
    Turkish Airlines has a turkish employee who lives in CCS and is making sure that the food is made in high TK quality as you would expect. There’s nothing coming over from HAV in terms of catering. Also a thing that I would like to say is that the IST-HAV-CCS-IST flight is actually making pretty good and the load factors are alright. Probably because there aren’t many airlines left flying to CCS…

  26. @Robert Hanson

    How many died from homicide under Stalin, Mao, or Kim?
    How many black people got shot?
    How many former actor/reality TV host became the leader.

    Each system has its pros and cons.

    Don’t try to fit everything into YOUR world. That is why many of @Debit comments are true but you just can’t handle the truth. And a reason why we lost in Vietnam. Commies didn’t die from the mighty US of A, they self destruct.

  27. @Eskimo

    “How many died from homicide under Stalin, Mao, or Kim?
    I’d say the approximately 60 Million killed by Stalin, whether by starvation, firing squad, or in the Gulags, all qualify as homicides. And the same for the @100 Million killed under Mao. The Khemer Rouge killed one third of the Cambodian population. Is that what you meant by “Each system has its pros and cons”?

    “How many black people got shot?”
    Virtually none. Are you so ignorant that you don’t realize that there were virtually no black people living in China during Mao’s reign of terror?

    You probably also don’t realize that @95% of the “black” people who are shot each year in the US are shot by other “black” people”. According to CBS News: “Chicago has the largest gang population in the country, with approximately 100,000 members who commit 75 to 80 percent of the city’s homicides.” You can google “Gang wars at the root of Chicago’s high murder rate” for more information. The article is from 2012, but trust me, nothing has changed.

    As for “Commies didn’t die from the mighty US of A, they self destruct.” I have absolutely no idea what you are trying to say. Do you? 😉

  28. @Robert Hansen

    “Government mismanagement is the very definition of Socialism.”

    I guess the United States of Americaland is a socialist state. It makes sense since they are responsible for the murder of millions of people.

    Wish California would just separate from the mess that is the rest of the US.

  29. The US government is just the equivalent of the modern day Third Reich. They want to cleanse the world of anyone who doesn’t look, think or talk like them. In other words, they want the world to be full of simpletons that are a majority of US citizens.

  30. VIASA, the major international Venezuelan airline from 1960 to 1997, had a regular flight to Beirut by 1971 at least (by DC10, at some point). This may have been for oil business (connections from Beirut to the Gulf), but apparently there is also a non-trivial segment of the Venezuelan population who is Muslim of Middle Eastern descent. So there is a longer history of flights from Venezuela to the Middle East (though perhaps not to Iran).

  31. Both countries would not be considered ‘weird’ without the US interventions.
    In fact, EU does not have any issues with Iran Emily.
    Iran is still on my to do list.

  32. @Robert Hanson!

    Iran’s revolutionary guard goons never did shot down a civilian airliner – See Iran Air Flight 655 and Flight LN 114.

    Venezuela or N. Korea or Communist China did not attack sovereign nations based on false premise and caused immeasurable tragedy, misery, and death – See Iraq, Syria, Libya, Palestine, Yemen, Lebanon, etc.

    Socialists or Socialism did not cause the financial/economic meltdown of 2008 whereby millions of Americans lost their pensions and many state/municipalities more than halved and slashed pensions of many working Americans. In the meantime Wall Street and Corporate American got the biggest Socialist bailout in history by a nation that claims to be Capitalist!

    So these false labels you placing on others are unjustified and you rewriting history is an old and tired tactic mimicking the corporate media which will no longer works – open your eyes and see the light!

  33. I would say the USA and Israel are more evil than Venezuela or Iran, but I guess telling a Yank that would get me nowhere.

  34. The US didn’t impose economic sanctions on Venezuela until a few months ago (and even still, they’re fairly targeted). Prior to that the only sanctions were against corrupt individuals with ties to the regime (many who would espouse the values of socialism one day and hop on a plane to Miami or Orlando and live the high life the next). The problems in Venezuela have nothing to do with the US and everything to do with a corrupt, incompetent government that calls itself socialist. We can agree to disagree on whether socialism is, by its nature, bound to devolve into such corruption, but the fact of the matter is that it is the Chavista government that is to blame for what is happening in VZ right now. Intervention from a broad international coalition that includes the US would be welcome by most Venezuelans, and I guarantee you most would even take the US alone over Russia, China, or Iran (all of which already have their hands in the pot) any day of the week. Just talk to anyone who actually is affected or has family who is affected by what is going on there, myself included. The rest of you should just take a seat.

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