History & Background of IRAT
Iran Airtour was established in 1973 by the Iran Air, the Airline of the Islamic republic of Iran ( HOMA ),according to the necessities aroused by the development of the air transportation industry. Its major fields of operation were as follows:
1. Conducting the domestic and international charter flights
2. Performing the direct and indirect domestic and foreigner travel tours
3. Transporting the group passengers in the form of travel tours
4. Contributing to the expansion of tourism industry
5. shipment of the postal parcels and various freights
6. Planning and operating in any field concerned with the air transportation industry
The background of the Iran Air Tours company is taken into consideration in the form of 4 major historical subcategories as below:
1973 - 1979
At the beginning years of its operations, Iran Airtour co., with respect to the predetermined goals, launched the first domestic traveling tour in the Tehran-Mashhad line which became popular and profitable enough to convince the company to extend its services to Flowers Tours and Round the world tours shortly thereafter.
1979 - 1992
As the subsidiary of Iran Air, IRAT was mainly intended to follow the strategic and economic policies of Iran Air in different fields particularly by contributing to the development of domestic and international tourism. Within this period, while shifting the taste of people and consequently, switching the entertaining journeys from western and European countries to Islamic countries was widely publicized by the Iran Air and also the Iranian government, IRAT made all its efforts to meet this goal through organizing workshops and tours as well as participating in relevant conferences and meetings held worldwide.
• Traveling tours
¤ Domestic tours
Started from 1982 and targeted to Mashhad in Iran, the large acceptance of this program among the nation resulted in chartering of two 737 Boeing aircrafts to facilitate two flights per week to Mashhad at reasonable price. By assigning one Boeing 737-200 aircraft in 1983, the number of the flights to Mashhad increased to 3 flights a week. This tour has been successfully performed for the last 24 years and has been offering high satisfactory services such as hotel accommodations, transportation to shopping centers, historical and holy places, provision of tour leaders and so on to the passengers.
¤ International out going tours:
In 1984 concerning with the popularity of travels among Iranians, IRAT set up some investigations regarding international tours to given destinations and gradually performed international tours to Sharjah, Dubai, New Delhi, Bombay, Malaysia, Singapore, Cyprus, China, Syria, Athens and Greece in the same year. In 1995 IRAT launched the tour of Japan. All the passengers were provided with world class satisfactory services such as, 4 & 5 star hotels, transportation, tour leaders and so on.
¤ Incoming tours to Iran:
In 1989 and 1990 IRAT arranged several workshops in which managers of many international tour and travel companies from different countries took part and actively participated in the international fairs and hosted many people from different countries and certainly tried to introduce the tourism attractions in Iran to the world and attract international tourists.
In 1992, IRAT was appointed by Iran Air to use the leased TU 154-M Topolov aircrafts to support the passenger transportation in domestic flights. In carrying out this duty and to train the required manpower in different sections, IRAT chose the holy city of Mashhad as its operational base, commencing flights with two leased TU-154.
Thus, the holy city of Mashhad became a hub to connect thirteen different cities to each other. Direct flights from provincial capitals to Mashhad eventually led to a significant drop in passenger traffic passing through Tehran, resulting in saving passenger’s time and money. Coincident with the increase in the number of aircrafts from two to four, some of the flights to Mecca parallel with a portion of regional flights to Damascus, Almaty, Moscow, Ashgabat and Tashkent were assigned by Iran Air to IRAT to enhance the operational capacity of Iran Air, therefore; IRAT implemented around 55% of pilgrimage flights to Mecca in this year. To raise the safe air transportation for the passengers and to liaise with current operating airlines, IRAT became the observing member of IRATA and the international flight code of B9 was assigned to it.
A new Chapter in efficiency and productivity:
In the last months of the year 2000, the new board of directors were appointed to change the status of the company in order to decrease the costs and expenses and increase the revenue and productivity. Moreover, they also wanted to renovate the fleet. Meanwhile IRAT has received an order to stop all travelers’ tour activities and just concentrate on the domestic flights.
Along with the strategy of cost reduction in the company, they also reduced the number of the aircrafts possessed by IRAT. It fell down from 19 to 14, whereas; the total number of passengers carried remained unchanged. In other words, with almost 20% drop in the number of aircraft, operational productivity and aircraft utilization hours were remarkably increased from 142 hours per aircraft to 175 hours, which led to significant foreign exchange savings, while the flight lease rate per hour decreased from $1375 to $ 920.
In 2001, different options concerned with cost reduction and higher productivity, such as application of Wet Lease vs. Dry Lease aircraft were taken into account by the consultants and top management of the IRAT, and the holistic strategies, policies and tactics of switching from Wet Lease to Dry Lease aircraft were formulated. Moreover, in the same year the necessity of purchasing 7 new Airbuses which was reflected in the technical report of the company was submitted to the ministry of road and transportation that all of them got approval of the mentioned ministry. Nevertheless; unfortunately after the untimely death of the minister, that plan was not accomplished. In the same year, IRAT reached to the highest operational status in the past ten years (2,590,000 passengers with only 14 TU 154 aircraft).
From year 2002 to 2004, IRAT, according to the order of the council of economy of the government, focused on renewing the fleet with more proper and suitable aircrafts regarding to the topographical condition, higher safety parameters, better passenger comfort and lower operational costs which covered some of the aviation industry priorities in Iran. IRAT has studied the possibility to replace western fleet instead of old Russian made fleet.
In year 2006, IRAT has purchased two second hand aircraft Airbus 300-B4 from Turkey in order to expand its fleet and consequently record the highest passenger carried in the company's history. In year 2007, IRAT accomplished receiving the ISO 9000-2000 certificate as the first airline in Iran.
Taking a comprehensive decision in 2008, Iran Airtour Airline has aimed to establish a safety management system based on the international aviation standards as a modern management model in order to achieve the following results:
1- Increased quality and safety factors in all current activities with the purpose to perform safe and standard flights.
2- Improved capabilities of the company through developing safety culture and aviation international standards and supporting safety management in all its aspects by providing required resources for the accomplishment of the related tasks.
3- Development and promotion of knowledge-orientation along with an appreciation of valuable experiences and constructive suggestions with a purpose to achieve superior safety and to explain and clarify its significance to the public and making them to be responsive about it.
4- Making an attempt to minimize the risks and to avoid hazards as well as to raise necessary awareness and to call for all staff, directors and managers to cooperate seriously with the safety management.
5- Aiming at the achievement of high safety indicators and international aviation standards as well as the continuous measurement of safety.
6- Recognizing the risk potentials and doing the best to remove the deficiencies and to optimize the processes; placing a great importance on the received reports and avoiding useless and destructive practices and increasing the staff's accountability in terms of safety.
7- Making every effort to gain the trust of Civil Aviation Organization of Iran "IR CAO" as well as the customer satisfaction in order to maintain the creditability of the company and to adapt all the activities to the rules and regulations of this organization as well as to international standards.
8- Promotion and development of automatically controlling approaches with the purpose to increase the safety factor and ensuring that all the personnel are well acquainted with the safe performance and its significance and have received necessary training.
9- Interaction with aviation research and study organizations in order to optimize the methods and adoption of trusty policies in respect of the outsourced services to be safe and standard.
10- Providing the ground to implement precautionary methods and enhancing the regulatory principles with the aim to timely prevent possible risks as well as ensuring to have skilled work force and appropriate responsibilities to perform safe and standard activities.
Iran Airtour Airline has been transferred to private sector since 2011 in line with the Article 44 of IRI Constitution, and having a new structure of managing director and the board of directors, it has placed a high priority on a competitive prospect of the company's promotion and development.
Now, having 10 Boeing McDonald Douglas (MD) aircraft at its disposal and high experienced flight crew and pilots as well as skilled maintenance specialists, Iran Airtour is going to establish a connection between Mashhad and Muslim countries by adding 12 Airbus aircraft to its fleet.