Iran signs deal to buy 20 more airplanes
TEHRAN: Iran's national carrier has signed an agreement to buy 20 new passenger airplanes with an option for 20 more from French-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR, Iranian media reported today. The purchase comes a week after Iran Air signed a deal to buy 118 planes from the European consortium Airbus, signaling a major effort to develop the civilian aviation sector now that international sanctions have been lifted under a landmark nuclear deal. ATR said the deal signed with Iran Air includes a firm order for 20 ATR 72-600 planes. Iran's private Donya-e Eghtesad daily says the deal is worth $1.089 billion. Iranian Transport Minister Abbas Akhoundi said Tuesday that the planes will be delivered over 3 years, beginning in 2016, according to the official IRNA news agency. He said that under a separate agreement, a French company will build a new terminal in Tehran International Airport within a year, without elaborating. He said the government hopes to expand the airport's capacity from 8 million passengers to 40 million over the next four years by adding two other new terminals as well as renovating an existing one.