Iran’s domestic transport services are facing a significant passenger crisis because of a lack of aircraft and trains.
National shortages of available aircraft and locomotives mean the country's aviation and rail sectors are struggling to meet the escalating demand for travel.
On Wednesday, the Mohammad Mohammadi-Bakhsh, head of the Iranian Civil Aviation Organization's, confirmed the existence of a "black market" for plane tickets in the country, expressing the urgency of augmenting the air fleet to alleviate the critical shortage.
"The current need of the country is 550 planes, but we only have 180 planes. To resolve the flight problem, 370 new planes need to be added to the country's air fleet," he said.
Mohammadi-Bakhsh revealed that out of Iran's 330 registered planes, 139 are currently grounded. Furthermore, he said that some of these vehicles have been deemed unfit to return to service, raising concerns about accurately assessing the country's aviation crisis.
The Association of Rail Transport Companies is undergoing a similar set of challenges. Sobhan Nazari, the Chairman of the Board of Directors, said that 350,000 passenger train tickets have been cancelled due to a lack of 900 locomotives, which is severely impacting the rail sector's ability to meet demand.
“Between May and July, approximately 80 out of the 175 currently operational locomotives were functioning,” he said.
Iran's civilian airliners have faced shortages since the 1990s. To compensate, they resorted to leasing older planes or procuring spare parts through intermediaries. However, the technical state of their fleet has steadily worsened over time, resulting in the current situation which has now reached crisis level.