After my flight with the oldest active Airbus on Mahan Air, I met up with Mashhad local spotter Sorush took me to the spotting site, which is also the crash site of Aria Air IL-62 in 2009.
Within 5 minutes, we spotted the Saha B707 in its famous nose dive down approach from a much higher than normal attitude that only Saha B707 is doing it in Mashhad. No other planes do this nose down diving approach! It is beyond spectacular to see the B707 coming down to land.
After the spotting, it is time to go back to the airport to check-in for my 3:15pm flight to Dubai. Mashhad have separate domestic and international terminal which are 1 km apart. Both terminals are new, airy and plenty of room. Mashhad do receive a fair amount of international flight from Damman, Beirut, Damascus, Doha, Dubai etc.
The international terminal below:
With my friend Sorush in Mashhad.
Boarding pass. I am booked in Business Class seat.
Note the very comfortable lounge chair in the airside waiting area. Many airport could learn from MHD!
From the window of international terminal, it boasts a fantastic view of apron and runway. It was impossible from outside but only available at airside.
A line of Iran Air Tours MD-80s.
2 classic in one click! The Saha B707 is taking off behind the Iran Aseman B727.
Double B727! The one in the background is taking off to Ahwaz I believe.
Iran Air Tours (Turkish reg.) A310 sitting idle in Mashhad.
At 2:45pm finally boarding has commenced, via bus to the remote stand to board the B727 classic one by one.
Mashhad - Dubai
Business Class of Iran Aseman B727. It has a total of three rows in 2 x 2 seating configuration. The seat appears to be the same as American Airlines MD80/B737 First Class seat.
Moodlight and wallpaper on the B727 gives a rejuvenated feel of the cabin.
We took off on-time and the flight time to Dubai was approximately 2 hours. The flight was about 70% full. There were only 2 passengers in Business Class including me.
Every single passenger is served with this full tray of meal. The tray is bigger in Business Class but I believe they all have the same main course which is Beef Kebab with Iranian rice.
Very tasty main dish.
After the meal service, I walked down to the main cabin to have a look. I haven’t been on a B727 since 2006, which was also to/from Iran!
This B727 is completely refurbished with new leather seats in Economy.
With the very generous cabin crew, they’re not shy for photos! As all Iranian do, they were so kind to invite you for “Chai”! (Tea)
Legroom from the exit row at the far back.
At 5:30pm, our B727 started top of descend, we crossed the Persian Gulf and descended over Northern UAE/Oman peninsular.
Please see the video of takeoff, landing of the B727. Enjoy the sight and sounds. The noise from the back of the B727 is no less than a Tu-134/154 to me!
Final approach to Runway 30R of Dubai International.
After a smooth landing (all landing I have been smooth on this trip!) my 4th visit to Iran came to an end. I was allowed to visit the cockpit and have photo with the friendly operating crew. Note the cockpit size was about the same as B707 from my observation.
Although a short journey this time, the memories of Iran and its classic aircraft will have a long lasting impression in me. All my flights were perfect and I enjoyed so much that I can’t describe or explain. I feel extremely privileged and thankful to the great Iranian Hospitality offers.
Iran, despite all the negative publicity and propaganda around her, is an absolutely fascinating destination. It is one of very few countries that I have visited lasted a life long impression on me. You have to go to Iran, to see the reality of the country and what has it got to offer.