Iran Air has received two more of the 20 ATR-72s it ordered last year. The seventh and eighth aircraft arrived at Tehran’s Mehrabad airport on New Year’s Eve.
Iran Air, the country’s flag carrier, signed the contract with the Franco-Italian joint venture back in April 2017 to purchase the 20 ATR 72-600 planes valued at $400 million at list price. These are part of the multi-billion dollar deals signed by Iran with ATR. Airbus and Boeing after the lifting of sanctions last year. Three Airbus (one A321 and two A330s have also been delivered. Like the latest ATRs, the Airbuses were financed by Iran’s Bank of Mine and Industry using National Development Fund of Iran’s resources.
Iran is keen to get external funding for more aircraft and Iran’s Financial Tribune reported that the country has signed two preliminary contracts one with a Chinese bank and another with a European firm to finance its airplane orders. The Tribune quoted deputy minister of roads and urban development in international affairs, Asghar Fakhriyeh-Kashan, who said the agreements are expected to be finalised by March.
“We held serious talks with five major lessors; however, at the moment only two of them remain interested in financing Iran Air’s plane deals which is the results of the recent rise in pressures against Iran and the landmark nuclear agreement,” he said during thecceremony for the arrival of the new ATRs.
According to the deputy minister, the finance contract for three Airbus jets has already been finalized with the two firms and “Iran Air is likely to take delivery of three or more Airbus planes during the next Iranian fiscal year (March 2018-19).” Boeing has already committed to finance eight jets for Iran Air, local media reported.
Farzaneh Sharafbafi, the CEO of Iran Air, said that the flag carrier expects to take delivery of eight to ten brand new airplanes from Boeing and Airbus in the next Iranian fiscal year. She said the upcoming deliveries in 2018 include Boeing 777, Airbus A320 and Airbus A321, adding that the flag carrier is set to take delivery of another Airbus A330 in early 2019.
ATR also expects to complete deliveries for the remaining 12 ATR-72s by the end of the year.
In December Iran’s fourth largest airline, ATA, took delivery of its first Embraer ERJ 145 jet. Believed to be a pre-owned aircraft, the 50-seat jet is the first of 15 aircraft, purchased by the airline. ATA said it expects to have the other 14 in the fleet by March.