Iran Air, branded as The Airline of the Islamic Republic of Iran is the flag carrier of Iran headquartered on the grounds of Mehrabad Airport in Tehran. As of 2018, it operates scheduled services to 71 destinations in Asia and Europe. Iran Air’s main bases are Imam Khomeini International Airport and Mehrabad Airport, both situated in Tehran, capital of Iran. Domestically, Iran Air is commonly known as Homa, which is the name of a mythical Persian griffin, and also the acronym of Iran National Airlines in the Persian language. The airline's cargo division, Iran Air Cargo, operates scheduled services internationally using three cargo aircraft Iranian Airways was founded in May 1944 by Reza Afshar and Gholam Ebtehaj. Post-war, its first passenger flight was from Tehran to Mashhad, followed by a Tehran-Esfahan-Shiraz-Bushehr-Abadan-Ahwaz service. In 1946 the airline established service to Cairo, Baghdad and Tel Aviv, and in April 1947, to Paris. Between 1945 and 1962, the airline became a major domestic carrier, also operating some international flights to Europe each week. The fleet consisted of Douglas DC-3s initially, supplemented by Douglas DC-4 and Vickers Viscount aircraft later on. In 1954, the privately owned airline Persian Air Services (PAS) was established. PAS initially operated only freight services, followed by passenger operations between Tehran and other major cities in Iran. In 1960, PAS initiated passenger service to several European destinations, including Geneva, Paris, Brussels and London, using Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-7 aircraft leased from Sabena. Iranian Airways was nationalized in 1961. On 24 February 1962, Iranian Airways and PAS merged to form the Iran National Airlines Corporation (HOMA), known as Iran Air, using the homa bird as a symbol. HOMA was a public sector venture that combined the two predecessor air carriers. Among the aircraft used were Avro Yorks, Douglas DC-3s, Douglas DC-6s and Vickers Viscounts. The carrier became a full member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in 1964. It was the launch customer for the Boeing 747SP.