Since 2019, the four former Turkish Airlines Airbus A340s have belonged to a small Hong Kong company. After changing license plates several times and using the wrong flight plan, they have now arrived in Iran.

They flew three years longer than planned. But in the spring of 2019, Turkish Airlines finally shut down its last Airbus A340. Two of the four-radiators have since been dismantled, one has been converted into a restaurant and one has been exhibited in Şekerpınar around 40 kilometers east of Istanbul.

Four of the Airbus A340-300 got a new home much earlier. They were flown from Istanbul’s old Atatürk Airport to Johannesburg a few weeks after they were decommissioned in spring 2019. The planes were stored there.

The little-known Hong Kong company Avro Global, founded in 2013, became the new owner. She provided the jets (they are her only ones) with Guernsey license plates. They stood idle in South Africa for more than three and a half years. But on the day before Christmas Eve, they suddenly moved.

The A340 quartet 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 landed in Tehran beforehand, as the magazine “Scramble” reports.

The four Airbus A340s already had new license plates on their flight to the north-east. However, they should soon be given Iranian license plates. Because Iran urgently needs new aircraft and is known for getting jets with shell companies and through third countries despite sanctions.

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

The code does not exist, but some see it as an indication of the future owner. Mahan Air already operates ten Airbus A340s.

This article was written by Stefan Eiselin

The original of this article “Four Airbus A340 disappear in Iran” comes from aeroTelegraph.