The Pak Banker - - BUSINESS -

Iran plans to buy as many as 90 planes per year from Boe­ing (BA.N) and Air­bus (AIR.PA) to re­vamp its an­ti­quated fleet once Western sanc­tions are lifted, its state news agency IRNA quoted a se­nior avi­a­tion of­fi­cial as say­ing on Sun­day.

"Iran will buy a to­tal of 80-90 planes per year from the two avi­a­tion giants in the first phase of ren­o­vat­ing its air fleet," said Mo­ham­mad Kho­dakarami, the care­taker di­rec­tor of Iran's Civil Avi­a­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion, ac­cord­ing to IRNA.

Last month's nu­clear deal be­tween Tehran and world pow­ers has raised the prospect of bank­ing and trade sanc­tions on Iran be­ing lifted, per­haps around the end of this year, which would mean a chance to re­new a fleet of com­mer­cial air­craft whose av­er­age age of 23 years is al­most twice the in­ter­na­tional av­er­age.

"We will pur­chase planes from Boe­ing and Air­bus in equal num­bers," Kho­dakarami was quoted as say­ing, adding that Iran would ini­tially need to add at least 80 planes to its fleet each year. That would mean a to­tal of 300 planes within five years, he added. Iran will fi­nance the pur­chases through mech­a­nisms in­clud­ing leas­ing, for­eign loans and state funds, Kho­dakarami said. Ira­nian and Western in­dus­try of­fi­cials had ear­lier es­ti­mated that Iran, a coun­try of 80 mil­lion peo­ple, would need a to­tal of 400 air­craft in the next decade, as­sum­ing im­ple­men­ta­tion of the nu­clear deal pro­ceeds smoothly and the sanc­tions are lifted.

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