DUSHANBE, October 6, Asia-Plus - The civil aviation department of the Ministry of Transport has granted a license for operating flights to the Tajik private company, Somon Air.   

A source in the civil aviation department said that Somon Air jointly with the department has to work out it air routes.  To get the country’s aviation market the company should complete its negotiations on cooperation with Mahan Air, Iran’s private airline, according to the source.  

The Somon Air director general Mirzo Mastongulov said that legal formulation of documents on cooperation with Iranian airline is still under way.  He noted that all documented may possibly be finished in late November and Somon Air will have started its activity by end of the year.   

“This issue should also be solved at the governmental level,” Mastongulov said, noting the company will lease western type planes – A-310s or A-320s.  

“In the beginning of this week, we had telephone conversation with representatives from Airbus company and they expressed readiness to provide us with planes of this type,” Mastongulov said.  Besides, French specialists will assist Somon Air in tackling the problems connected with operation of the planes.      

Established in 1991 as a private airline, Mahan Air is based in Kerman and is the airline arm of Mola-Al-Movaheddin Charity Organization, an Iranian business entity.  Mahan Air began its journey with two TU-154Ms passenger jets purchased from Egypt and its first flight was from Kerman to Tehran on May 16, 1992 and first international flight from Tehran to Damascus in December 1992.  It began cargo operation in 1994 with two IL-76-TDs.  The first Airbus A-300-B4 joined the Mahan Air fleet in 1999.  Mahan Air is a growing international carrier - currently their A310 and A300 operate from Manchester, Birmingham and Dusseldorf in Europe and Bangkok, Manila and Shanghai in Asia.  Their Indian flights are operated by A320 or sometimes TU204.