IranAir is the flag carrier airline of Iran branded as "The Airline of the Islamic Republic of Iran". It is the oldest airline in the Middle-East operating to 35 international and 28 domestic destinations. IranAir is also referred to by its Persian acronym HOMA (Havapeymayi Melli Iran) which is derived from a griffin of persian mythology.
Its main bases are the Tehran Mehrabad Airport for domestic flights and Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport for international flights with its headquarter on the grounds of Mehrabad Airport in western part of Tehran.
Iranian Airways Company was founded in May 1944 and operated its first passenger flight right after World War II from Tehran to holy city of Mashhad. The airline also had weekly freight services to Europe and its fleet consisted of DC-3s, DC-4s, and Viscounts. Within a period of 17 years (1945-1962) the company developed into a major domestic airline with a few international flights per week. In 1954 a second private airline, Persian Air Services was formed. Initially it operated only freight services to Europe, but in 1960 it commenced passenger flights to several European destinations using leased equipment. The geographical situation of Iran with its expanding spacious levels, relative remoteness of crowded areas from each other, lack of adequate means of transportation (railways and roads), the need to initiate safe and fast connections, and lack of an orderly equipment with high capacity to revive mutual aviation rights with other countries as well as securing more welfare and comfort for Iranians led to a ratification by the board of ministers to establish a national airline corporation on February 10th, 1961. Following that, on February 24th 1961, both Iranian Airways and Pars Airways merged to form a new airline as IranAir with the acronyms of HOMA, a griffin of Persian mythology which symbolizes the mythical Bird of Happiness. IranAir, the first airline to order and operate Boeing 747SP in the world, having the mission of obviating the domestic aviation transportation needs accompanied by observing the safety principles and forming transportation services with neighboring and countries in distance, officially commenced its activities in April 1962. Dating back to 1970's, in a TV commercial about IranAir, a passenger says: "Let IranAir take you on a journey to adventure you will never forget - romantic, exciting, breathtaking Iran." IranAir became a full member of IATA in 1964 and is now flying to 28 international and 26 domestic routes as an IOSA registered airline.
After the Iran National Airline was registered as a national company, it officially started under the acronym "HOMA," made by combining initial letters of the Persian phrase. For both brevity and clarity, Iran National Airline changed to IranAir. To choose the logo, a logo competition announcement appeared in Kayhan and Ettelaat newspapers in 1961. Judges came from the College of Fine Arts. Inspired by an image atop one of the columns at Persepolis, a young Iranian's sketched the competition's winning image. Edward Zohrabian was only 22 when he drew the well enduring logo of the Airline of the Islamic Republic of Iran by drawing upon a series of ancient Iranian motifs. His most significant inspiration was Homa, the Persian mythological griffin, which can be found in prosperous Persepolis and described in the books of R. Grishman, the famous French archeologist who specialized in ancient Iran. The griffin atop the Persepolis column has three distinct characteristics: an eagle's head, a cow's ears and a horse's mane. Without legs, according to some accounts, the griffin never rests, living its entire life flying invisibly high above the earth, and never alighting on the ground. The color offered by the designer was turquoise.
IranAir Cargo: It is the freight wing of the airline. Cargo transportation by air started when a small part of the cabin was allocated to cargos and freights which gradually led to designing and manufacturing bigger and more equipped aircraft which is still a growing development. To pursue this importance, Iran Air has benefited from knowledge and experience of its human assets along with its fleet to offer services to its customers and passengers, whilst promoting the quality and quantities of its services, attempts greatly to secure safety and use state –of- the- art methods in attracting and carrying all kinds of cargos.
Iran AirTour: It is a low cost carrier based at Mashhad International Airport. IranAir tours initiated scheduled operations in 1990, taking over the bulk of northeastern Iranian city of Mashhad, home to Imam Reza shrine, one of the holiest shrines of the shi's Muslims.
Homa Hotel Group: It is a chain of hotels in the major cities of Iran. Homa hotels are located in Tehran, Shiraz, Bandar Abbas and Mashhad. It has more than 800 rooms serving people since 1990.
Iran Air serves over 28 domestic and 35 international destinations. However, with the expected expansions during 2016, it is likely new routs and destinations to be served by IranAir.