A Meraj Airlines Airbus A320 flying domestic service between Tehran and Kermanshah, Iran, experienced two consecutive diversions due to a hydraulic leak issue. The incident is said to have taken place on September 16th with the 20-year old narrowbody.
According to The Aviation Herald, the aircraft was climbing out of Tehran when the crew received an indication of a hydraulic leak. Reacting to this, they decided to return to Tehran Mehrabad and performed a safe landing about 30 minutes after departure on runway 29L.
The aircraft would remain on the ground for repairs for approximately two hours. Resuming its service, the aircraft departed again but again received an indication of a hydraulic leak and thus needed to return to Tehran. The plane also landed safely, approximately 30 minutes after departure.
Removed from service for investigation
The Aviation Herald goes on to say that Iran’s aircraft accident investigation board reported a hydraulic pipe was replaced following the first return. It then notes that after the aircraft was released to service again, the same defect arose, forcing another return.
The aircraft was then removed from service for a more thorough investigation into the matter. This more in-depth investigation indicates that the first takeoff incident was a hydraulic defect, while the second was an electronic system failure. This prompted the crew to return a second time as a precaution.
About Meraj Airlines and its fleet
According to Planespotters.net, Iranian carrier Meraj Airlines began operations in 2010 and has a fleet of just six aircraft. They are the following types and quantities:
- Two Airbus A300s (Average age of 25.3 years)
- Two Airbus A319s (Average age of 17.3 years)
- Two Airbus A320s (Average age of 20 years)
As for the incident aircraft, EP-AJI is 20.1 years, having first flown with TACA International Airlines in El Salvador. The plane was leased for a short time to Universal Airlines of Guyana and, in 2008, went to Air Memphis of Egypt. Airfleets.net notes that the jet is configured with 12 business class seats and 156 seats in economy class.
With its small fleet of six aircraft, Meraj Airlines mostly flies within Iran, connecting the nation’s capital of Tehran with other cities across the country. These include Kish Island, Mashabad, Bandar Abbas, Dezful, Isfahan, and Kermanshah.
The airline does actually operate a few international routes, with service to cities in Iraq, Turkey, Russia, India, and Armenia. Many of its international services are seasonal except for Najaf (Iraq), Istanbul (Turkey), and Izmir (Turkey).
Have you ever flown with Meraj Airlines? Please share your experience with us in the comments.