Iran has invited the US air craft manufacturer, Boeing to Tehran to negotiate an aircraft purchase, the country’s Minister of Transport Abbas Akhoundi said.
“Following the signals of the US administration to Boeing on removing the aviation industry sanctions, we invited the company to Tehran for negotiations,” Akhoundi said, Iran’s Fars news agency reported March 3.
Last month Boeing announced it has received a license from the US government to begin commercial discussions with Iranian airlines, opening the door to what could be the first US jet deliveries to the Islamic Republic since the 1970s. Earlier Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan, Iran’s deputy transport minister said that Tehran is interested to buy Boeing 737.
Boeing’s license, marked a step toward catching up with European rival Airbus, which earlier agreed to sell Iran 118 planes. Speaking about the Iran-Airbus deal, Akhoundi said the process is underway, adding that Airbus itself is also working to obtain the international licenses. He didn’t give any further comments.
Iranian carriers have among the oldest fleets in global aviation following decades of sanctions that have left the country unable to leverage its geographical location and a domestic market of nearly 80 million people.
It is estimated that Iranian airlines currently have a total of 150 aircraft, which are up to 20 years old. Back in April 2015, the head of Iran Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Ali Abedzadeh said the country needs to buy up to 500 passenger planes in the next 10 years to renovate its ageing fleet.