US clears more Airbus deliveries to Iran
THE United States has approved a second export licence for Airbus to sell jetliners worth billions of dollars to Iran’s flag carrier, the European aviation giant said.
“We confirm that we have received our second licence from the US Office of Foreign Control Assets following the agreement [with Iran Air] signed in January 2016 in Paris,” Airbus told AFP.
“This will allow us to pursue negotiations with Iran Air on finalising the deal,” Airbus said.
Airbus clinched a preliminary agreement at the start of year to sell Iran 118 aircraft, but it also required US approval because some of the planes’ components are made in the United States.
The deal includes the single-aisle A320 and the long-range A330 and is worth between US$10 billion and $11 billion.
The first licence was granted in September for Airbus to sell 17 A320 and A330 jetliners to the national airline a the second licence will cover the rest of the order, an informed source said.
Iran Air has been saddled with an ageing fleet due to years of sanctions on the Islamic republic over its nuclear program.
Iran’s current commercial aviation fleet, which has a poor air safety record, numbers around 140 planes with an average age of around 20 years, with many in desperate need of replacement.
Iran projects a demand for between 400 and 500 commercial airliners over the next decade.
Two Airbus 320-200 of German carrier Lufthansa in Duesseldorf.