A few days ago while reading a media release from the Syrian Civil Aviation Authority I found myself stumped, wondering if the opening lines were a typo. But upon further reflection, the media release started to make sense.
Last week in Damascus, Syria, the Iranian Government hosted the Iran Hi-Tech Expo … this event in-and-of its self is a little confusing, given Iran’s inability to modernize a number of key areas in its own infrastructure. But for Syrian Air, the Iran Hi-Tech Expo allowed the airline to reach out and seek help for its own failing airline and crumbling fleet from Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
During the Iran Hi-Tech Expo, Syrian Air signed five separate agreements with Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization. These agreements include construction of Syrian Air hangers, the modernization of Syrian Air’s hangers, the maintenance of Syrian Air’s fleet, the development of air cargo support and logistics as well as flight deck and cabin crew training.
Like Syria, Iran has faced significant sanctions that have impacted the nation’s ability to modernize its airline and acquire vital spare aircraft parts. Unlike Syria however, Iran’s flagship airline, Iran Air, has done far better than expected given the sanctions in place to not only upkeep its aging fleet, but also acquire ‘newer’ aircraft to replace it’s aging Soviet era Russian aircraft.
The Syrian government will not let Syrian Air fail, even if it is failing, because Syrian Air is the nation’s flag carrier. As Syrian Air faces substantial competition, while also lacking the technical tools and resources to move its airline forward, the airline needs assistance with few places to turn. One of the few places Syrian Air can turn is to Iran, a nation that has managed to grow their airlines and built modern maintenance facilities.
So despite the immediate thought of the “blind leading the blind,” who better to help Syrian Air than Iran?