Tour Report: Iranian S&C Day 7 – Iran Air 747-200 with a Semi-Upgrade

Day 7: From IKA to KUL with an Onboard Semi-Upgrade

<–Day 6: Mashad on Two Generations of A300

(Traveled on February 19, 2016)

After a week in Iran, it was time to head back to Kuala Lumpur onboard Iran Air’s flight 814. Before that, however, we found time to do some shopping in a bazaar and some more spotting at Mehrabad airport.

Nuts & Dry Fruits

Once again, we took the morning fairly slow, and well-rested we went to one of Tehran’s bazaars aiming to buy some gifts.

A classic car in one of the back streets near the bazaar we went to.
A small mosque.

We did not find any suitable gifts there, but some of us ended up buying pistachios and raisins. While shopping at the dry fruits story, I got full just from trying all the different types of products they had there!

A cart used by a bazaar shop owner.
We spend quite some time inside this store. In fact, I’ve never spent so much time choosing which nuts and dry fruits to buy.

A Syrian Surprise

With the shopping done and the weather sunny, we headed once again to Mehrabad airport’s famous spotting point.

A disclaimer here: the hobby of aviation photography is not widely understood in Iran, and oftentimes the local people call the police. It can result in being held for several hours. As such it is not really recommended, and if you decide to do it, don’t do it on the day of your departure as you might miss your flight.

During the couple of hours we stayed at the location, we were able to photograph many domestic movements including the Iran Aseman 727 and Iranian Revolutionary Guards An-74.

EP-AJI – a Meraj Air A320 landing with Alborz mountain range in the background.
Caspian Airlines 737 still wearing the livery of its previous owner – Malaysia Airlines.
Iranian Revolutionary Guards An-74 landing.
Iran Aseman 727 landing with Alborz as well as Milad Tower in the background.

What was the biggest surprise though, was a Syrian Air Il-76 arriving from Damascus. We never expected to photograph that one during our short stay there!

Syrian Air Ilyushin Il-76 arriving from Damascus. What a surprise!

As it was getting cloudy and as we got warned by a police officer, we decided to call it a day and went back to the hotel.

Onboard Iran Air 747-200 in the Seat of Homa

After some time spent relaxing in the hotel lobby, we headed out to meet a van my friend had booked for us to take us to Imam Khomeini airport and a good hour later, we arrived at the CIP terminal dedicated to business class passengers.


We tried to check-in there together with two of our participants that were traveling in business class, but we were told we would need to pay almost 100EUR per person to do so. As such, the group of us that was flying economy walked back to the main terminal where we checked in after spending some time in the line.

As we still had some time before our departure, after getting through passport control, some of us had a quick dinner and did some souvenir shopping. With the time of our departure getting closer, we headed through security to gate 25 where our flight would be departing from.

Soon, we boarded a Boeing 747-200 – EP-IAI. Once again, as we had found out during the previous days, we were hit with an equipment change and missed the 747SP.

Onboard, we settled into our seats, and I asked the crew to let Cpt. Kaviani know we had arrived.

In a couple of minutes, he came down and besides a quick chat, he arranged for us to be allowed to sit in the Homa Class cabin. He also agreed to call us into the cockpit during sunrise before heading back to the upper deck.


Cpt. Kaviani
With Cpt. Kaviani in Homa Class cabin.

While the meals we meals we received during the flight were economy class meals, we were served pre-departure drink together with the “real” business class passengers. I chose orange juice from the selection of juices.

Pre-departure drink.

At half past ten, the aircraft doors were closed. About five minutes later, we started taxiing towards runway 29R of Imam Khomeini airport, and another ten minutes later we took off into the dark Iranian skies.

With the seat belt sign off, nothing was in the way of the crew serving dinner. While business class passengers enjoyed multiple courses, we were served economy class meal. In spite of that, the chicken with rice was quite tasty and the meal was more than enough given that it was later than 11PM.

The economy class dinner looking small on the large business class table. In reality, it was more than enough food for the late hour of the day.

After dinner, I started working on this report while sipping tea, and after some time I fell asleep only to wake up during sunrise. And indeed, right after waking up, I headed into the cockpit on the upper deck to enjoy the beautiful view as well as a chat with the crew.

Working on this report while enjoying a cup of tea.
Upper Deck
The cozy upper deck of 747-200. Unfortunately, seats on the upper deck were off passenger reach due to lack of emergency equipment.
Cockpit with the complete crew incl. check pilot – Cpt. Kaviani.
One of the best moments in my aviation life – sun rising over the Bay of Bengal.
Me in the cockpit.
Captain Kaviani and the Flight Engineer posing for a photo.

The rest of the flight, we mainly spent chatting with the crew, taking pictures and just enjoying being onboard a Boeing 747-200 in 2016.

Our left wing and engines over the Bay of Bengal.
Cabin Crew
Me together with two members of the cabin crew.
Cabin Crew
…and together with one more cabin crew member and some of the tour participants.
One of the cabin crew members even had a piece of paper with Japanese phrases written on it – a reminder of time when Iran Air used to operate into Tokyo.

About two hours before landing, a cold plate breakfast was served. The breakfast was followed by tea service, this time in the business class glassware even for us.

Tea after breakfast.

Unfortunately, the time went by very quickly, and at 10:14AM Malaysia time, the seat belt sign was switched on and we started our descend towards Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Economy Class
I went back to the economy class cabin for landing to be able to record a video of the wing and engines.

We overflew KL giving us a nice view of the city including the Petronas Towers, and at 10:35AM we lowered our landing gear in final preparations for landing.

Kuala Lumpur
Overflying Kuala Lumpur with Petronas Towers visible in the photo.

Five minutes later, we touched down on runway 32L of KLIA, and less than ten minutes later we reached our parking spot – C12.

Cabin Crew
One of the cabin crew members wrote a nice message for us before we disembarked. It read: “The Iran Air crew hope to visit Tokyo again and stay there.”
Our group together with today’s Captain shortly before disembarking.

After disembarking and picking up our luggage, we entered the arrivals lobby where we bid each other a farewell, bringing the unforgettable tour to an end.

3 thoughts on “Tour Report: Iranian S&C Day 7 – Iran Air 747-200 with a Semi-Upgrade”

  1. Pingback: Iranian Skies & Cities 2016 - KN Aviation

  2. I enjoyed your report about your trip on Iran Air 747 200. Both the flight crew and cabin crew seem really good.
    The food was of high standard. The Boeing 7474 classic will always be one of the great wonders of the World

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