Iran has reportedly signed a deal to procure 114 aircraft from France’s Airbus, according to a report by local media on 17 January.

The new planes will be joining Iran’s more than 200 ageing aircraft fleet.

The Iranian government has indicated earlier this year that they would require up to 90 aircraft units annually for the next five years to overhaul its ageing aviation sector.

The lifting of economic sanctions on Iran is expected to unlock billions in frozen assets, which would help address the required funding for this project.

Iran’s Transport Minister has repeatedly alluded that as soon as the nuclear deal was signed in July that the ministry in talks with both Airbus and the US’ Boeing for the supply of new aircraft.

Both firms, however, had indicated that they cannot start dealing with Iran until the sanctions are officially lifted and until they obtain clearance from their governments to sell aircraft to Iran.

Airbus Middle East managing director Faouad Attar told MEED in December that “nothing has changed in Iran”.

Apart from funding, the key issue with Iran’s aircraft demand is delivery. Both Airbus and Boeing have a heavy backlog comprising more than 1,000 aircraft from Middle East airlines alone and it is believed that it could take years prior to Iran receiving its brand new aircraft from either manufacturer.

It has been suggested Iran could tap the secondary market to meet its immediate aircraft demand.