Iran is once again smuggling Airbus A340 aircraft

Iran is once again smuggling Airbus A340 aircraft

At the end of February, two Airbus A340 aircraft left Lithuania for Sri Lanka, with the Philippines as their final destination. However, the machines never got there.

When the plane entered Iranian airspace flew inThey disappeared from the radar. The transponders were reportedly deliberately turned off. An Airbus A340 then landed at Mehrabad Airport near Tehran, while the other machine arrived at Konarak Airport. According to the sources, a third package will also be smuggled to Iran. The A340 was not allowed to leave Šiauliai Airport in Lithuania to prevent it from landing in Iran.

The Airbus planes that arrived in Iran were owned by Gambian leasing company Macka Invest. The first aircraft, an A340-300, previously flew for Iberia and Philippine Airlines. The machine was taken out of service in 2018 and has been stored at various airports in recent years. The Airbus, registered C5-MIA, was likely used by Mahan Air for spare parts.

Grand Prize – Livery

The other machine, an A340-600, had several owners, including Etihad Airways, Plus Ultra and Maleth-Aero. During its time in service with Etihad Airways, the aircraft flew the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix logo. In 2017, it was still possible to admire the plane in Schiphol. Mahan Air has now also introduced the A340 into its fleet. Unlike the C5-MIA, the longer example, the EP-MMU recording, is used for commercial flights.

Etihad Airways A340-600 with Abu Dhabi Grand Prix logo © Up in the Sky

Turkish Airlines

This is not the first time Airbus A340 aircraft have disappeared over Iran. In late 2022, four Turkish Airlines A340-300 aircraft were mysteriously transferred to Iran. In 2019, the plane was parked at Johannesburg Airport in South Africa. The planes remained there for years until they received registration from Burkina Faso in 2022 and took to the air in December of that year. According to the flight plan, the A340s were supposed to fly to Uzbekistan, but they never arrived there.

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