A top Iranian aviation official says the country has reduced the number of planes it plans to buy from Airbus by six units.
"There are six fewer aircraft. These are the ones that were due to be delivered in 2016," Reuters has quoted Iran’s Deputy Roads and Urban Development Minister Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan as saying.
The deal to be finalized in coming weeks could therefore be for 112 aircraft instead of 118, added Fakhrieh Kashan, who was speaking on the sidelines of the CAPA Iran Aviation Finance Summit in Tehran.
On paper, these include 12 A380 superjumbos but Iran has not yet decided whether to take the double-decker jets, and has an option to convert them to smaller models, he said.
The change appears to have been adopted to expedite the process for the company to receive export approvals from the US Treasury Department – what has been so far plaguing the process for Iran and Airbus to complete the deal.
Iran announced plans in January to buy 118 jets worth $27 billion at list prices from the European planemaker but has voiced concern at the amount of time it is taking to receive US export licenses, which are required to complete the deal due to the large number of US parts in the Airbus jets, Reuters reported.
Fakhrieh Kashan had previously warned that any failure by the US to approve the licenses would breach a nuclear deal that Iran sealed with the P5+1 group of countries – the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany – last year.
On Sunday, he told the CAPA Iran Aviation Finance Summit that Iran has been told that the US Treasury will issue the required approvals for plane sales to Iran by the end of September.
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