As Iran is pushing ahead with what appears to be an aggressive campaign to purchase planes, figures show European aviation major Airbus has won the race in Tehran from its American rival Boeing.
A report by Forces showed that the Paris-based company had already attracted a mix of firm orders and memorandums of understanding for 173 aircraft with a collective deal value of tens of billions of dollars.
It added that Boeing had accrued orders and options for 140 planes, while the smaller European turboprop-maker ATR attracted orders and options for 40 aircraft.
Forbes further named Iran Air – the country’s national flag-carrier airline – as the most active buyer. The company would buy a total of 220 new planes from Airbus, Boeing and ATR, covering both wide and narrow-bodied jets as well as turboprops. Airbus and ATR made their first deliveries of several planes over the past few months but Boeing deliveries would start in 2018.
Among the country’s smaller carriers, Iran Aseman Airlines would buy 30 new Boeing 737 Max 8 jets, with options for 30 more. Iran Airtour would also purchase 45 Airbus A320neo aircraft. And Zagros Airlines would acquire 28 Airbus aircraft, including 20 of its A320neo model and eight of its larger A330neo.
Iran’s shopping spree, Forbes added, already promises a complete overhaul of its aviation sector. The report added that the number of planes ordered – 300 so far and 50 more on the way – amount to almost double the current active Iranian fleet.
Iran theoretically had a fleet of 250 planes, around 100 of them were sidelined, having broken down or been stripped for parts, meaning only 150 were taking off and landing on a regular basis, said the report.