Mahan Air’s 35 Year Old Boeing 747-300 Flies Again After 5 Years

On April 14th, after over five years of maintenance, Mahan Air brought the world’s oldest passenger Boeing 747-300, back into service. Following damage to two engines as well as the fuselage during an incident in 2015, the aircraft has remained on the ground. However, it is now back to flying passengers between Teheran and Kish Island, a domestic route of one and a half hours.

Boeing 747-300
Iran’s Mahan Air is bringing the world’s oldest passenger 747-300 back into service after five years of maintenance. Photo: Getty Images

Close to being written off five years ago

When most aircraft have been parked for five years, they have little chance of ever catching wind beneath their wings again, especially when the aircraft in question is over 35 years old and has previously been involved in an incident causing damage to not one but two of its four engines and its fuselage.

However, it would seem that Iran’s Mahan Air, one of the few remaining passenger Boeing 747 operators, has brought back one of its 747-300s, parked since suffering an uncontained engine failure in October 2015.

The aircraft, registered as EP-MNE, was operating domestic flight IRM1095 from Mehrabad International Airport (THR) in Teheran to Bandar Abbas International Airport (BND) with 19 crew and 422 passengers on board. Just after take-off, engine number three failed, with loose parts damaging engine number four as well as the fuselage in the process.

The pilots made an emergency landing back at THR a little under 40 minutes after departure, bringing the aircraft and everyone on board safely back down to earth. Since then, the 747-300 remained grounded – until April 14th this year, when according to Planespotters.net, the airline returned it to service.

Mahan 747-300
Mahan Air reportedly transferred engines from its second 747-300, EP-MND. Photo: Kurush Pawar via Flickr

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Daily service THR to KIH

As Mahan Air has now retired its second 747-300 EP-MND, the airline has transferred two of its engines onto EP-MNE, Sam Chui reports. Thus, after five years of maintenance in Teheran and a heavy C-check, the world’s oldest passenger 747-300 is now once more scheduled for service on domestic routes in Iran.

While the aircraft’s registration does not yet show up on flight data, Mahan Air has scheduled a Boeing 747 on a daily service between THR and Kish Island (KIH) from April 29th onwards. Flight time between the two destinations is usually around one hour and 30 minutes.

Mahan Air has, up until now, operated the route with one of its Airbus A310, EP-MMP, another of its planes that has passed the three-decade mark.

Mahan 747-400
Mahan Airlines also operates a 30-year-old 747-400. However, it has been parked since the onset of the pandemic. Photo: Konstantin von Wedelstaedt via Wikimedia Commons

Trip to Iran for 747-enthusiasts?

So if you are incredibly keen to fly on the world’s oldest passenger 747, not to mention one of the few in operation across the board, THR to KIH Flight, from the end of the month is your biggest bet.

The airline’s remaining Boeing 747-400, 31-year-old EP-MNB, was last seen in the skies on February 26th, operating Flight W51036 between Mashhad (MHD) and Teheran. This was also incredibly enough revived in 2019, after ten years in storage. Meanwhile, it remains to be seen if it will also survive the effects of the pandemic.

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