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National flag carrier Iran Air gets first female CEO

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
New CEO of Iran Air Farzaneh Sharafbafi

For the first time in Iran’s aviation history, a woman has taken the helm at the national airline Iran Air which has signed deals with Airbus and Boeing for the purchase of about 200 passenger planes.

Farzaneh Sharafbafi was named as the new CEO of Iran Air Tuesday, replacing Farhad Parvaresh who is about to represent Iran at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal, Canada. 

Sharafbafi, 44, has a PhD in aerospace. She was formerly a member of Iran Air’s board as the director of the company’s research department.

She has also helped implement several aviation projects and taught various aerospace courses at the prestigious Amir Kabir University of Technology and Shahid Sattari University of Aeronautical Engineering.

In her new post, she will preside over the revamping of Iran Air’s aging fleet of passenger planes.

The company struck a deal with Boeing in December for 80 passenger planes worth $16.6 billion. In January, Iran Air signed agreements to buy 118 planes from Airbus, estimated to be worth some $25 billion before cutting the number to 112.

The airline has taken delivery of seven new Western aircraft since trade reopened under a nuclear deal between Tehran and six countries.

Iran Air A321 arrives in Tehran, marking the first delivery of many aircraft purchased from Airbus, January 11, 2017. 

The deliveries included four of the 20 ATR 72-600 turboprop aircraft which Iran Air has signed to buy from Franco-Italian planemaker ATR. The company has also received three Airbus jets and will get another by end-year, while the first Boeing is due around May 2018.

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