By: Mir M.Hosseini
The Iranian aviation industry was nationalized under the name Iran Air. The private company Iranian Airways had been founded in April 1944 which shuttled between Tehran and Mashhad. The company gradually added some international flights. In 1954, the second private airline called Persian Airways was founded. The two companies merged under Iran National Air.
In 1975, Iran Air aka Homa started flights between Tehran and New York with one stop at London's Heathrow Airport. With purchase of Boeing 747, Homa started the longest non-stop flight to date between Tehran and New York. On Oct, 8, 1972, Homa submitted the purchase order for two Concorde ultrasonic planes which never arrived in Iran. In 1976, Homa earned the title of the safest airline in the world after the Australian Qantas.
Iran National Air became the Islamic Republic of Iran Air after 1979 but the name Homa and it's ancient symbol for a legendary bird that represents happiness was unchanged. Iran Air last landed in New York on Oct, 7, 1979 after which Iranian flights were banned from landing in any U.S. airport due to tensions between two nations caused by the Hostage Crisis. In a radical move, hardline students stormed U.S. embassy in Tehran taking people hostage for 444 days.
Homa transported 1.8 passengers in 1981. Because of trade sanctions, Homa's fleet has grown old and Iran Air has lost its glory. Currently, there are some other private airlines operating in Iran such as Iran Air Tour, Aseman Air, and Mahan Air.