Iran to receive second Airbus on Saturday
Iran’s national flag-carrier airline Iran Air says the second Airbus plane that has been purchased through a major post-sanctions deal with the European aviation giant will arrive in Tehran on Saturday morning.
Iran Air announced in a statement as quoted by the domestic media that the plane – an A330 – would arrive in Tehran’s Mehrabad International Airport from France’s Toulouse at 08:00 local time.
Last January, Iran signed a deal worth $18 billion with Airbus to purchase 100 new planes including 46 A320 family, 38 A330 family, and 16 A350 XWB aircraft.
The first plane – an A320 – arrived in Tehran in January.
Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi had earlier emphasized that two A330s would arrive in Iran in the near future.
Last year, Iran also sealed another plane purchase deal to purchase 80 new planes from US aviation player Boeing.
The deal – which involves 50 Boeing 737s and 30 777 airliners worth $16.6 billion – was Iran’s biggest yet with an American company since the 1979.
Iran Air is also expected to seal an order for 20 turboprops from another European manufacturer ATR.
The US-led sanctions against Iran prevented global plane providers from selling aircraft to Iran. However, this restriction was lifted after a nuclear deal between Iran and the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany – the so-called P5+1 – came into effect last January.
The deal – that had been sealed last summer – envisaged the removal of certain economic sanctions against Iran – including sales of planes and aviation spare parts – in return by steps by the country to restrict some aspects of its nuclear energy activities.
Most of Iran’s aging fleet of 250 commercial planes was purchased before 1979, and as of June 2016, only 162 were operational, with the rest grounded because of a lack of spare parts.
Airlines in Iran have been operating for decades on ageing fleet of Boeing and Airbus airliners, plus some Russian planes bought or leased since the revolution, according to rudaw.net.