PayvandNews – Airline of the Islamic Republic of Iran (Iran Air) signed a $16.6 billion deal to buy 80 passenger planes from U.S. aircraft maker Boeing, IRNA quoted Farhad Parvaresh, the managing director of the Iranian flag carrier as saying on Sunday.
The deal, penned in the presence of Iran’s Transport Minister Abbas Akhoundi, includes purchase of 50 narrow-bodied 737 planes and 30 long-range 777s, according to Parvaresh.
The aircrafts will be delivered over 10 years, he added.
Fletcher Barkdull, a Boeing regional director who attended the signing ceremony, said the aircraft manufacturer has received final approval from the U.S. government.
‘Boeing contract first step to revive Iran’s air fleet’
The concluded contract between Iran Air and Boeing should be regarded as the first step taken to renovate Iran’s air fleet and the renewal procedure will speed up in future via finalizing other deals such as the one to purchase 100 Airbus aircrafts and also the contract to buy 20 ATR planes, Akhoundi said on the sidelines of the signing ceremony.
“Making the purchase of the Boeing planes will add 50,000 seats to the capacity of Iranian air fleet,” he added.
Iran Air-Boeing agreement is the first of its kind since the Islamic Revolution in 1979 and comes after most international sanctions on Iran were lifted as part of its nuclear deal with world powers. It also comes weeks before the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, who has criticized the nuclear accord with Iran.
Boeing said in June it had signed a tentative agreement to sell 100 jets to Iran Air after Iranian statements about the deal.
In November, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill intending to block the sale of commercial aircraft to Iran that would bar the U.S. Treasury from issuing licenses that U.S. banks would need to finance sales of commercial aircraft.
Congressional Republicans are making efforts to counter last year’s nuclear accord between Iran, the United States and other world powers, that eased sanctions on the Islamic Republic.