Where have the four missing Airbus A340s gone? That’s what some observers asked themselves who followed the path of the quartet of four-radiators these days. The planes took off from Johannesburg one after the other on December 23 and flew towards Uzbekistan, according to the flight plan entered.

But the four Airbus A340 never arrived there. Because they actually had Iran as their destination.

The planes had previously been owned by Hong Kong company Avro Global and had been sitting idle in South Africa for a while.

Now they have a new task. Iranian airlines can only obtain new planes indirectly because Western sanctions prohibit plane manufacturers from selling jets to them.

Now it is clear: the planes have actually arrived in Iran. A satellite from Airbus’ defense division has captured an image of the four jets at Tehran Airport.

Originally, the Airbus A340s were owned by Turkish Airlines, which retired them in 2019. Then they were bought by Avro Global.

The four Airbus A340s already carried the registration numbers XT-AKA, XT-AKB, XT-AKK and XT-ALM on their flight to the north-east. However, they should soon be given Iranian license plates.

For their flight to Uzbekistan, the crews had entered the flight numbers MAN3808, MAN3809, MAN3810 and MAN3811.

The code does not (yet) exist, but some experts see it as an indication of the future owner. The private Iranian airline Mahan Air already operates ten Airbus A340s.

This article was written by Laura Frommberg

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The original of this article “Airbus satellite locates four missing A340s in Iran” comes from aeroTelegraph.