This trip report can also be seen in Youtube video format from below link:

 

 

 

Introduction

 

At the end of 2013, I was planning another ride on the timeless classic of Iran Air B747-SP and Biman Bangladesh DC-10-30, both flies in and out of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia so it is a no brainer to fly the SP in and DC-10 out of KL! It is a very intense trip with packed flying schedule and few hours in between!

 

Mahan Air introduced a new 4 weekly mid afternoon flight from Dubai to Tehran which connect well with the Iran Air B747SP late evening departure to Kuala Lumpur. Another option is to fly Emirates to Tehran but that’s less exotic and original than flying an Iranian airline to Iran!

 

My end of 2013 trip contains of below flights and the whole trip took only 36 hours!

 

27 Dec W5062 Dubai – Tehran  A340-300

27 Ded IR840 Tehran – Kuala Lumpur  B747-SP

28 Dec BG087  Kuala Lumpur – Dhaka  DC-10-30

28 Dec BG049  Dhaka – Damman  B777-300/ER

29 Dec EY320  Damman – Abu Dhabi  A319

 

 

 

Check in

 

 

 

Mahan Air use Terminal 1 of Dubai, I arrived 2 hours prior to STD. A gentleman name Hamid came and shook hand with me. He introduced himself later as the duty manager of Mahan Air and he had seen my pictures before so he recognized me.

 

Hamid took care of me at check-in and informed me the flight is full and business is booming again between Dubai and Tehran. Mahan Air is currently number 2 just behind Emirates between Iran and UAE.

 

He told me the newly acquired A340-300 will be operating today’s flight and I was very pleased to hear that since I flew Mahan’s A300 already. The schedule shows “EQV” so it could be anything from A300, A310 to A340!

 

I took my chance and asked how much for an upgrade to Business Class or is it possible at all to upgrade to Business Plus. I was met with an answer, “Sure, you can pay for them!” The upgrade from Coach to Business is 560 Dirham but the upgrade to First Class is only 635 Dhs, which is about 20 USD more! This is a no brainer so within a split second I decided to splurge and upgraded myself. I was taken to Mahan Air office upstairs and paid the cashier.

 

Hamid told me he will choose a great seat for me and even better news, I was the only passenger in Business Plus cabin, Mahan Air’s version of First Class. My boarding pass was issued with First Class on it!

 

He took care of everything and even arranged a photo shoot!

 

 

 

 

Mahan Air use DCA Business Class lounge for all Business and First passenger. Hamid told me ICAO or IATA did not approve their First Class product yet so it is not a proper First Class but the hardware certainly is and it is a different cabin!

 

A lazy stroll to gate C19 at Terminal one and pleasantly found the green tailed A340-300 is already arrived at gate.

 

 

Mahan Air A340-300 at Dubai

Mahan Air A340-300 at Dubai

 

 

Boarding was conducted orderly and Hamid bids farewell to me. He told me he had already informed the operating crew about me and they will take good care of me! At this point, I felt I was on a roll and became a smooth operator somehow!

 

 

 

Onboard

 

A range of juice were offered and I was the only passenger in the First Cabin. We took off ontime out of Rwy 30R. Please see the video on takeoff and cabin scenes.

 

 

We took a sharp right turn on a Northerly track flying over Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah and over Oman before crossing the Strait of Hormuz towards Iran mainland.

 

 

Mahan Air A340-300 overwing

Mahan Air A340-300 overwing

 

 

After takeoff menu were handed out and the meals are the same in First and Business I was told.

 

Mahan Air A340-300 Business Class Menu

Mahan Air A340-300 Business Class Menu

 

 

Mahan Air A340-300 Business Class Menu

Mahan Air A340-300 Business Class Menu

 

 

The starter consists of Cold Mezze and Tuna Salad.

 

Mahan Air A340-300 Business Class Starter

Mahan Air A340-300 Business Class Starter

 

Mahan Air A340-300 Business Class Starter

Mahan Air A340-300 Business Class Starter

 

Iranian sparkling Ice Tea

 

 

 

I chose Chicken Kebab as main

 

Mahan Air A340-300 Business Class Main Course

Mahan Air A340-300 Business Class Main Course

 

 

After the quick meal, we were over the desert of Iran already. Our flight time is just under 2 hours today.

 

 

 

The plane is ex-Lufthansa obviously with everything intact, the First seat is wide and comfortable.  I took the opportunity to change seat and took as many photo as I could.

The crew also offered to take my photo!

Mahan Air A340-300 First Class interior

Mahan Air A340-300 First Class interior

 

 

Mahan Air A340-300 First Class cabin

Mahan Air A340-300 First Class cabin

 

Mahan Air A340-300 First Class cabin

Mahan Air A340-300 First Class cabin

 

Mahan Air A340-300 First Class cabin

Mahan Air A340-300 First Class cabin

 

Mahan Air A340-300 First Class cabin

Mahan Air A340-300 First Class cabin

 

 

Business Class (full)

 

Mahan Air A340-300 Business Class cabin

Mahan Air A340-300 Business Class cabin

 

Economy Class (full)

 

Mahan Air A340-300 Economy Class cabin

Mahan Air A340-300 Economy Class cabin

 

 

The seating configuration is surprising high Business.

F8 C56 Y165 total 221

 

 

Into the Cockpit

 

All Iranian airliners carries security guard in plain clothes, they usually sit near the cockpit and monitor everything in the cabin. On my flight it was no different, the security chief allowed me taking pictures but did checked all of my photo in my camera. We chatted a little although he speaks only Farsi. He seems fascinated about my passion towards aviation and decided to do me a favour by allowing me inside the cockpit! The security has the final say on all matters onboard Iranian airliners.

 

I sat behind the pilots (2 cockpit crew) for 10 minutes watching a great sunset before we descend into Tehran on a very clear but cool evening. Our cruising level was 32,000 feet at Mach 0.82. The captain told me he flew a range of plane from Bae146 to Tu154, from B747 to A340, impressive CV!  Both pilots were shocked I was only transitting Tehran in just few hours! May be it is another call to visit the land of Persia next time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sweet Ending

 

Toward the end of the flight, I asked whether I can take picture with the crew and this was met with no hesitation! Mahan Air have changed their uniform since my last flight with them in early 2013.

 

 

Mahan Air crew

Mahan Air crew

 

 

 

 

 

We landed smoothly on Runway 29R in ImanKhomeiniInternationalAirport. Next to our gate there was a Iran Air B747-200 (EP-IAI) and I was excited and thought this may be my next flight to Kuala Lumpur! Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

Although it was a short flight but I enjoyed every minute of it! Although the A340 is very common aircraft type, but with Mahan Air it certainly adds a little exoticness! It seems the Business Plus product is not well promoted outside the circle of aviation enthusiasts. It is a great product at a fractional extra cost! I hope you enjoyed my short journey

Thanks for reading and watching

 

 

This trip report can also be seen in Youtube video format from below link:

 

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