Iran has authorized the creation of 10 new airlines by the end of 2017, with some aiming to be operational by early 2018 at the latest. The new carriers, which each require minimum startup capital of around US$90 million, will provide all types of air service, including domestic, regional, international and charter flights.

Behind the need for new airlines is Iran’s desire to improve its aviation services and encourage competition among carriers. One key to doing just that is to increase the country’s active fleet. Iran currently has fresh orders for new aircraft that would nearly double its current operational fleet. Including firm orders and options from Airbus, Boeing and ATR, Iran aims to add up to 353 new aircraft.

The spirit of competition will lead to less delays, lower cost fares, a more frequent fleet renewal cycle, as well as an administrative and organizational reform.