Aerospace & Defense

Airbus, Iran Sign Deal for 100 Airplanes

Airbus Group SE announced Thursday that it has signed a firm contract with Iranian flag carrier Iran Air for 100 aircraft. The order includes 46 A320 family, 38 A330 family and 16 A350 XWB aircraft. The original deal called for 118 planes, but the airline cancelled its order for 12 superjumbo A380s and has sliced another 6 planes as well.

At a Sunday press conference in Tehran, the airline’s CEO, Farhad Parvaresh, said only that Iran Air would cut its order to a total of 100 planes and eliminate all A380s. The order announced Thursday has one more A320 than in the original deal and 7 fewer A330s. An A320 carries a list price of $98 million while the current version of the A330-200 has a list price of $231.5 million, the current A330-300 is listed at $256.4 million and the A330-900neo lists for $287.7 neo. Airbust did not specify which of the A330 Family were cut.

Because the planes contain at least 10% U.S. technology, the sale to Iran is contingent on export licenses granted by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). The licenses were granted in October and November of this year, before the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation restricting U.S. financing for airplane sales to Iran. Airbus said that the sale complies with Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that removed sanctions against Iran in exchange for restrictions on the country’s development of nuclear energy.

Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier said:

This is a landmark agreement not only because it paves the way for Iran Air’s fleet renewal. Our overall accord includes pilot training, airport operations and air traffic management so this agreement is also a significant first step in the overall modernisation of Iran’s commercial aviation sector.

Iran Air CEO Parvaresh said:

I am delighted that we have reached an agreement to go to the next decisive phase and start taking delivery of new aircraft. I am gratified that this new round of cooperation with Airbus has come to fruition and brought us closer with more practical steps to follow for Iran Air’s fleet renewal. Iran Air considers this agreement an important step towards a stronger international presence in civil aviation. We hope this success signals to the world that the commercial goals of Iran and its counterparts are better achieved with international cooperation and collaboration.

The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) also has an agreement to sell some 80 planes to Iran, but recent legislation restricts Boeing’s ability to assist Iran Air get financing for the purchase. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg met with President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday and emerged from the meeting with a big smile and a comment that Air Force One would come in under the $4 billion budget that Trump assigned to the plane. Not a peep, though, about selling planes to Iran or keeping the U.S. Export-Import Bank operating.