So in the end, IR might still end up being a contender in the region, but not as an A380 carrier. I see it as a relatively lose-lose scenario for EK to the extent that IR can actually manage to be competitive.
I have extracted this quote, from the larger explanation (admittedly, specifically about the A380) and would like to extrapolate to another tangent; could IR compete against EK?
Ultimately that depends on the Iranian market. EK's package of Dubai, and the generally tourism focused ethos there - is much more appealing, than a stop in Tehran. Unless significant changes were to happen within Iran - I cannot see it attracting connecting traffic enough (or at least enough, to rival EK). EK will lose, in some measure - some of the Iranian market (which is likely lucrative for them) as IR grows.
At present, IR is not a valid alternative to EK, and save for massive improvements to the transit experience in Tehran (adding more 'shopping' which is hard to do with the economy as is), massive improvements to both soft and hard products, changes in policies regarding women's rights (no one wants to put on a chadoor, or a hijab - just to transit), changes in policy to allow alcohol on-board (to attract non-Iranian, connecting traffic - and/or to appeal to non-conservative Iranians...), and changes to policies regarding immigration (the U.A.E.'s stance regionally does not compromise it's ability to transfer passengers from both sides of the 'cold-war', where as, with IR...).
EK has quite a few 'advantages' - and while I do wish IR success, there is quite alot of work to be done before they can compete. I do expect to see them grow domestically, and regionally, first - upgrading and slightly expanding (as many of these new aircraft will go to replace older frames). In future, the growth will remain Iranian focused. Be mindful of the fact that IR serves at the flag carrier of the Islamic Republic, and in many ways is tied to the identity and the standing of the nation (when abroad). The question is not so much how and where IR will be capable of growing - and much more of, how much/far will the Islamic Republic allow it to go/grow? Since the 'easing' of sanctions, the Iranian regime has not demonstrated their willingness to resist assisting in the destabilization of the region (see Yemen, and their involvement in Syria). Its not inconceivable that they could end up returning to a sanctioned state, or with some restrictions on operations. These things do not bode well for an airline that is hoping to grow and tied to that nation.
Last edited by Rajahdhani
on Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.