• Passenger movement has grown 6 per cent annually over the past 10 years
  • Investments worth $20bn required to modernise fleets

Iran’s Civil Aviation Organisation (CAO) said it is currently holding discussions with major aircraft manufacturers for the supply of new commercial aircraft units, and that it expects to receive proposals from these firms shortly.

“Our need is very urgent. Our passenger traffic has been growing 6 per cent annually over the past 10 years and our fleets have not been able to appropriately address this growth,” sys Mohammad Khodakarami, CAO’s acting president.

The government executive has previously said Iran would need up to 90 new aircraft annually over the next few years to modernise its old and poorly maintained commercial airline fleets. He also said that they plan to procure an equal number of aircraft from France’s Airbus and US’ Boeing.

“We expect to see a tangible change in our fleet within a year’s time,” added Khodakarami.

Boeing Middle East and Africa president Bernard Dunn, however, said that deliveries to Iran are not imminent given that they would need the US government to grant them a licence to authorise airplane sales before they can compete for business in Iran.

The Airbus Middle East office could not be reached for comment on the current status of its transactions with Tehran.

Overhauling Iran’s commercial airline fleets is estimated to require long-term investments worth $20bn, or an average of at least $1.5bn annually. The government expressed willingness to obtain financing from various sources, including leasing, foreign loans and state funds for its fleet modernisation project.

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