Iran to buy Russian passenger planes?
28 August 2007
Iranian airlines are negotiating with Russian manufacturers to buy the new generation of Russian-made planes to augment their fleets. Leading Russian plane manufacturers such as Tupolev, Ilyushin and Antonov have experienced a decade of recession, but now seek to compete with western-made airplanes like Airbus and Boeing.
One of the models currently under consideration, which is suitable for Iran's climatic conditions, is the Tupolev 219. Iran Air Tour, recently signed a contract to purchase five Tupolev 204s. Iran's Defense Ministry also has been negotiating with Tupolev managers about Iran manufacturing Tupolev 218s under licence, apart from buying them.
Iran is also negotiating with Ilyushin too, and said it will not restrict itself to any single option to meet its needs in the civil aviation sector. Buying home-made planes like 'Iran 140' is another option that Iran's airlines are considering. Iran's defence-owned airplane manufacturer, Hesa, has modified and modernised the 'Iran 140'.
Due to the illegal imposition by the US of sanctions on Iran's aviation industry, the country is barred from purchasing airplanes manufactured by Western companies. Therefore, buying planes from Russian manufacturers is now Iran's top priority.