Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 31
The uncertainty around the US position on Iran means that Iranian aviation industry’s true potential may not be realized any time soon, Saj Ahmad, an aerospace and aviation analyst at London's StrategicAero Research, told Azernews.
"It is touch-and-go, but I remain cautiously optimistic that Iran as a country, tourist venue and that of a religious pilgrimage site in Mashad for Shia Muslims is a market that has a lot to offer," he noted.
“While Iran Air has started to receive deliveries of some new Airbus A330s and ATRs, other airlines like Aseman are still waiting for their chance to get onto the scene with new airplanes and revamp their product offerings, so that they can expand beyond Iran’s borders and look to garner more traffic possibilities,” Ahmad added.
Commenting on the fate of the contracts signed with Boeing and Airbus, the expert noted that the ongoing uncertainty about the US position on Iran "makes this a tough one to call".
“Airbus is a far more risk, because it was too trigger-happy to add Iran Air’s orders to its books and therefore its production stream. So, if the JCPOA is torpedoed, then Airbus will have the bigger headache of what to do with airplanes that may well be in the production pipeline,” he said.
At the same time, Ahmad noted that Boeing has wisely sat on the sidelines, because it knows that the US Government hasn’t actually given them the formal green light to go sell airplanes to Iran Air or Aseman Airlines – the latter is extremely keen to get its hands on 737MAXs.
"No one has a crystal ball on how this will pan out. If the JCPOA is killed, then both Airbus and Boeing lose out, as do Iranian airlines. Airbus would suffer by virtue of the element of US-made parts on its planes. But if JCPOA remains intact, then there is a great chance that President Trump’s election promise to create US jobs will come true as Boeing would be able to secure and create jobs by way of Iranian airline orders,” he explained.
Following the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA/nuclear deal) in January 2016, Iran inked deals to acquire 100 planes from Airbus, 80 from Boeing, and 20 from ATR.
The Islamic Republic has already received 11 aircraft, including three Airbus and eight ATR planes.
Earlier, Boeing told Trend it would follow the US government’s lead with regards to deals with Iran.
Boeing's comments came after the US House of Representatives passed a bill that would require the Treasury Department to notify Congress about the activities of the Iranian company that purchases the planes, as well as the financing used for the deal, and certify that they would not aid Iran's effort to distribute weapons.
The US lawmakers, however, emphasized that the legislation would not bar any aircraft sales to Iran.