Iran says Boeing sale imminent

15 June 2016

US aircraft manufacturer still needs government clearance

Iran has announced it reached an agreement with US aircraft manufacturer Boeing for the supply of commercial aircraft on 14 June.

Details of the deal are expected to be released over the coming days, according to Iranian news agency Mehr, citing Roads & Urban Development Minister Abbas Ahmad Akhundi.

The deal could involve national flag carrier Iran Air acquiring more than 100 jets both from Boeing and leasing companies, Reuters reported.

If the transaction comes through, it will be the first Boeing sale to Iran since 1979.

The US government gave Boeing clearance to begin commercial discussions with several Iranian airlines in April. This clearance has yet to allow Boeing to either start or complete commercial transactions with Iranian airlines.

However, a Boeing spokesman said on 2 June that the market demand for both narrow-body and wide-body planes in Iran is real and that “the prospect of a major order with Iran is moving closer”. This seems to indicate that an approval is forthcoming.

France’s Airbus signed a deal to sell 118 passenger aircraft to the Islamic Republic in January, a transaction that is estimated to fetch $27bn based on list price.

The sale was understood to be partly funded by Italy’s Sace. The Islamic Republic’s frozen assets within the EU banking systems have been used as collateral for the loan.

The actual delivery of the Airbus aircraft to Iran is still contingent upon US approval, since some Airbus components are manufactured in the US.

Akhundi has said the deal with Airbus will need 16 years to be fully realised.

The Iranian government has said it needs to purchase 400-500 aircraft over the next five years to revive its aviation sector.

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