Having placed an initial order with Airbus back on 18 January, 2016 for 118 jets, Iran Air has now finalized the agreement, but has dropped the 12 A380s from the order.
With the lifting of U.S. sanctions against Iran as a result of the international nuclear accord at the beginning of January this year, Airbus had wasted no time in drafting a deal with the carrier whose aircraft fleet’s average age was in excess of thirty years. The original agreement was for 21 A320ceo family aircraft, 24 A320neo family aircraft, 27 A330ceos, 18 A330-900neos, 16 A350-1000s and 12 A380s, valued at approximately US$25 million. However according to Iran Air CEO Farhad Parvaresh, “the real value of the deal [excluding the A380s] will not exceed $10 billion,” which gives a clear indication of the likely discounts being obtained.
In November this year it was reported that Iran Air had secured a deal with a foreign leasing company for the first 17 jets it intends to buy from Airbus. More recently it has been revealed that leasing deals for 77 aircraft have been secured, including 42 from Airbus and 35 from Boeing. Last week it was announced that Boeing had finalized a deal to sell 80 jets to the Iranian carrier. Leasing deals have proved critical for these sales owing to existing bank sanctions which have yet to be lifted.
The A380 part of the deal with Airbus had previously been thrown into doubt after Tehran conservatives objected to their purchase, pointing out that most Iranians would not benefit from the world’s current largest long-distance jet. Approximately six smaller jets, which were originally intended to be delivered this year, had also been discarded due to the delays in receiving U.S. approvals. The French jetliner manufacturer had been forced to wait for the U.S. to lift economic sanctions against Iran as, owing to the number or U.S. components in their planes, Airbus is also required to obtain U.S. export licenses. Ultimately, the Airbus order, if completed, would now not exceed 100 jets.
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