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Iran to buy 80 Boeings,100 Airbus planes at half the price

26 December 2016

Iran has managed to secure a great Christmas discount on the 80 new Boeing airliners it has contracted to purchase. While as per the order, these planes are worth $16.6 billion, Tehran on Sunday said that it had negotiated to pay only about half of this amount.

"Boeing has announced that its Iran Air contract is worth $16.6 billion. However, considering the nature of our order and its choice possibilities, the purchase contract for 80 Boeing aircraft is worth about 50 per cent of that amount," Reuters newswire cited deputy transport minister Asghar Fakhrieh-Kashan as telling Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

In June, it was reported that Iran had finalised a deal with Boeing to procure 100 planes. While no public announcement was then made, officials in Tehran had said an agreement had been reached. "We have 250 planes in the country, 230 need to be replaced," Ali Abedzadeh, the chief of the Civil Aviation Organisation of Islamic Republic of Iran, had then said.

However, on 11 December, Iran Air signed an agreement with Boeing to buy 80 passenger aircraft over 10 years. As per the deal, the American firm said it would supply 50 737 MAX 8 aircraft, 15 777-300ERs and 15 777-9 to the flag carrier airline of Iran. The state-owned IRNA said in a separate statement that Boeing would deliver the first batch of these aircrafts in early 2018.

Apart from Boeing, Airbus too has signed a deal to provide new airlines to Iran Air. This deal which was signed last week was said to be for the supply of 100 aircraft to Iran Air. These included 46 A320 Family, 38 A330 Family and 16 A350 XWB aircraft. The European manufacturer said that the delivery of its aircraft would begin in early 2017.

While Airbus had then not disclosed the deal value, a Reuters report had stated the same at about $18 billion to $20 billion at list prices. However, Iran Air chief executive Farhad Parvaresh had earlier said that that the Airbus contract would not exceed $10bn.

Apart from placing orders with these two giant aircraft manufacturing companies, Iran Air has also placed an order for 20 airlines with ATR, a European maker of regional turboprops. Fakhrieh-Kashan said on Sunday that this order may be increased to 40.

"The final round of talks will be held with ATR representatives (next) week and we expect the Iran Air contract to be signed ... in the following week... the purchase of 20 planes has been finalised and Iran may buy 20 more planes," he said.

These deals follow the removal of sanctions against Iran. The country was blacklisted for a long time over its previous nuclear stance.

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