In a historic moment and one that marks the end of decades of isolation of Iran’s civil aviation sector, Airbus has signed a contract for the delivery of 118 new jetliners to the Islamic Republic of Iran. The order from Iran Air, the nation’s flag carrier, includes 21 A320ceo Family and 24 A320neo Family jetliners, 27 A330ceo Family airplanes, 18 A330-900neos, 16 A350-1000s and 12 A380s.
The contract also calls for pilot training, airport operations and Air Traffic Management (ATM) support to be provided to Iran. Airbus has said that the first deliveries could commence later this year.
“The skies have cleared for Iran’s flying public and Airbus is proud to welcome Iran’s commercial aviation back into the international civil aviation community. Today is a significant step in the overhaul and modernisation of Iran’s commercial aviation sector and Airbus stands ready to play its role in supporting it,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO.
Iranian officials also signed a comprehensive civil aviation co-operation package, in addition to the orders for the new jetliners; the agreements were signed at the Élysée Palace, Paris, during Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s official visit to France with French President François Hollande.
Iran will now undertake a comprehensive modernisation of its civil aviation sector, to upgrade and modernise its air navigation services (ATM), airport and aircraft operations, regulatory harmonization, technical and academic training, maintenance, repair and industrial cooperation.
Years of isolation have meant that Iran Air operates an obsolete fleet of 43 aircraft, which include types such as the Fokker 100, Airbus Family jetliners (six A320s, two A310s and 14 A300s - including two freighters) and a handful of Boeing 747s.
Other Iranian carriers that operate Airbus jetliners are: ATA Airlines, Atrak Air, Iran Aseman Airlines, Mahan Air, Meraj Airlines, Qeshm Airlines, Taban Airline and Zagros Airlines.