Iran to buy 114 Airbus planes for aging fleet post-sanctions

Published January 24th, 2016 - 12:00 GMT

Tehran plans to purchase 114 aircraft from Airbus as soon as March, and is interested in other deals, senior Iranian officials told Reuters on Sunday, shortly after international sanctions against the country were lifted.

Iran may need to purchase as many as 500 new passenger planes over the next three years, due to its aging fleet, said Mahdi Hashemi, chairman of the parliament's Development Commission during Tehran's first major gathering of global businessmen.

Iran's Transport Minister Abbas Akhoondi told reporters that Tehran would discuss a deal with Airbus next week and is also interested in negotiating with US aircraft manufacturer Boeing.

Tehran needs to revamp its aging fleet, hit by sanctions not only against buying new planes, but also against purchasing replacement parts. The average age of aircraft for Iran Air, the country's national carrier, is 23 years. Its plans have suffered several fatal crashes in recent years.

Hashemi has indicated that Iran plans to move quickly, urging international investors to come to Iran.

"Come with your proposals. We would like to have new contracts and serve them immediately and make up for the losses that we suffered from in the past," Hashemi said.

Iran has emerged from years of financial isolation when world powers lifted economic sanctions against the country last week in exchange for Tehran's compliance with a deal to scale back its nuclear program.

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