Golden time for Iran to purchase modern aircraft

Business Materials 28 September 2017 17:50 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 28

By Khalid Kazimov – Trend:

Although uncertainties about the future of Iran’s nuclear deal has cast shadow over Tehran’s plans to renew its aged aviation fleet, the next year appears to be a great chance to acquire modern planes.

Following the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA/ nuclear deal) last January, Iran concluded deals to acquire 100 planes from Airbus, 80 from Boeing and 20 from ATR.

The giant aircraft manufacturers have already delivered nine planes, including three Airbus and six ATRs as two new ATR 72-600 planes were the latest ones to touch the ground at an airport in Tehran this morning.

However strained relations between Iran and the US as well as the aggressive rhetoric of President Donald Trump against the Islamic Republic have caused concerns over the prosperity of aviation deals between Iran and the European and US manufacturers.

While the leading manufacturers require licenses from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to complete the sales to Iran, the US House of Representatives earlier in September voted in favor of new measures that block sales of commercial aircraft to the Islamic Republic, which means that the bill, once signed into law by President Trump, would prevent OFAC from clearing licenses to allow the aircraft sales.

Although Iranian officials sound confident that the manufacturers would continue to fulfill their commitments under the existing deals, an official with ATR appeared hesitant about the capability of his company to materialize the commitments, watering down Iran’s plans to renew its aviation fleet.

The ATR representative during a ceremony held for marking the delivery of new aircraft to Iran in Tehran said that the manufacturers have an OFAC license which covers 2018. Therefore, the company will make efforts to deliver as many aircraft over the next year as possible.