Iran forced to give up Airbus purchase plan
Iran has been forced to drop plans to buy four European Airbus airliners because Washington has blocked Britain's Rolls-Royce from supplying the engines, the head of Iran Air, Davoud Keshavarzian was quoted as saying Monday.
Keshavarzian told the government daily Iran that the US embargo was "the chief obstacle to renewing the Iranian air fleet." In addition, funding was a problem for the $500-million acquisition of the four Airbus A310, which Iranian President Mohammad Khatami ordered when he visited France in October 2000, according to AFP. Keshavarzian said Rolls-Royce had been unwilling to risk US displeasure by supplying the engines.
Almost half of Iran Air's fleet still consists of Boeings dating from before the fall of the Shah in 1979, though it has 17 second-hand Airbuses. A subsidiary, Iran Air Tour, is also seeking to buy Western aircraft to replace its Russian-built Tupolevs after two crashes in two years. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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