Iran Air, Airbus A310 refuelling, loading catering and cargo at Imam Khomeini International Airport.

Iran seeks more aircraft as sanctions are lifted

Iran is looking to order dozens more jets worth around US$50 billion with Airbus and Boeing, said Iranian officials and Western industry sources.

This announcement follows the end of international sanctions against Iran in January after it reached a nuclear deal with US and other Western powers.

Iranian airline executives attended the Farnborough Airshow in Britain over the past week and held preliminary discussions with several potential sellers including Japan’s Mitsubishi, which is developing a new regional jet, they said.

“Iran is planning to buy some 50 more airplanes of various types soon,” an Iranian official said.

During the sanctions airlines form Iran are barred from purchasing new aircraft from The US and Europe as well as spare parts for their aging planes.

In 2010, officials from Iran Air and Mahan Air reported that their planes were denied refueling in the UK, Germany and United Arab Emirates following directives from the US. This was followed by a EU ban on all of Iran Air’s Airbus A320, Boeing 727 and 747 due to safety concerns.

The lifting of the sanctions brought new life to Iran’s airlines. Earlier this year, the world’s two largest planemakers struck provisional deals with IranAir.

“Yes, there are problems, financial and political, but there have been several meetings with Boeing and Airbus top authorities particularly in the past few weeks in order to resolve the issue and to find a way to overcome the remaining obstacles,” an Iranian official close to the talks said.

Boeing representatives are also expected to visit Iran before the end of the month to discuss the mechanics of their tentative deal to sell or lease 109 jets to IranAir.