Iran’s national carrier currently enjoys a 30 per cent break on its fuel costs, but Tehran appears determined to place the airline on a fully commercial footing as it opens it up to private ownership.

The airline’s sales, catering, flight handling, supply, cabin crew, and maintenance divisions are being spun off and will function as separate companies. Each unit will be floated on the Tehran stock exchange in the coming months, with the government retaining a 51 per cent stake.

Behrooz Raeisi, the airline’s deputy managing director of commercial planning at the airline, says the subsidy will be phased out as each unit is sold off.