Iran acquires ex-French Air Force A340s, but how did it do it?

Iran’s largest airline, Mahan Air, has recently purchased a pair of Airbus A340-212 long-range, wide-body airliners that were previously operated by the French Air and Space Force (FASF), growing the number of passenger aircraft in its fleet to almost 70.

The aircraft in question were registered as F-RAJA (c/n 0075) and F-RAJB (c/n 0081) while employed in French military service and were operated alongside three Airbus A310-304s by Escadron de Transport 3/60 (ET 3/60; Transport Squadron 3/60) ‘Esterel’ at Creil-Senlis Air Base (BA110), near Paris, from May 2006 and December 22, 2020. In FASF service, the two A340s were tasked with transporting military personnel and, on rare occasions, government delegates on long-haul flights thanks to the aircraft’s 12,400km (6,700nmi) range.

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