Iran eyes to buy Boeing 737

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 24 By Fatih Karimov- Trend: Iran is interested to buy Boeing 737 from the US air craft manufacturer, Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan, Iran's deputy transport minister said.

Basically the Boeing 737 is a proper plane for Iran, however the Iranian airlines will make decision, Fakhrieh Kashan said, Iran's Tasnim news agency reported Feb. 24. He further confirmed that the US aircraft manufacture has expressed readiness to start talks with Iran. "Two days ago, Boeing offered to negotiate with Iran and we will definitely negotiate with them on buying aircraft," the Iranian official said.

The airplanes will be purchased in the form of hire-purchase, Fakhrieh Kashan added. In a statement on last week, Boeing announced it has received a license from the US government to begin commercial discussions with Iranian airlines, opening the door to what could be the first US jet deliveries to the Islamic Republic since the 1970s.

Iranian carriers have among the oldest fleets in global aviation following decades of sanctions that have left them unable to leverage its geographical location and a domestic market of nearly 80 million people. It is estimated that Iranian airlines currently have a total of 150 aircraft, which are up to 20 years old. Back in April 2015, the head of Iran Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Ali Abedzadeh said the country needs to buy up to 500 passenger planes in the next 10 years to renovate its ageing fleet.

Analysts say Iran's air fleet will grow, however in the near term the country will have to settle for the lease of planes. Boeing's license, marked a step toward catching up with European rival Airbus, which last month agreed to sell Iran 118 planes. While responding to a question about Iran-Airbus final deal, Fakhrieh Kashan said that it was scheduled that the two sides start negotiations for inking the final contract within 20 days after signing MoU.

The talks have been started for finalizing the deal, he said, adding the total value of prepayment which Iran should pay Airbus reaches $50 million.

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