TEHRAN (FNA)- Transport Minister Abbas Akhoundi said the multi-billion-dollar contract signed with the French company Airbus to purchase new aircraft will double the size of Iran’s commercial aircraft fleet, as it forecasts continuing strong traffic growth.
“The Airbus contract worth $10.5 billion will see 118 new jet airliners for mid-range and intercontinental flights delievered to Iran,” Akhoundi said, addressing the legislators in an open session of the parliament on Tuesday.
He added that a seperate contract will also provide the country with 20 additional propeller-driven aircraft, making the total 138.
“The deals will modernize the commercial aircraft fleet as well,” Akhoundi noted.
According to the transport minister, the planes, which will be delivered to Iran over eight years, include 45 Airbus A320, 45 Airbus A330, 16 Airbus A350, and 12 Airbus A380.
Back in January, Managing Director of National Iranian Airlines Farhad Parvaresh had said the Memorandum of Understanding for the purchase of planes worth $10.5 billion was signed during President Hassan Rouhani’s recent visit to France.
Elaborating on Airbus A350, he said they are far range, modern planes used only by a couple of airlines in the Middle East. On Airbus A380, he said the continental planes are convertible in accordance with the country’s special needs and will be delivered within the next 4 to 5 years.
“However, the delivery of 12 of them depends on provision of the required financial conditions and further development of the Iranian airports’ conditions, since these are very large and wide body planes,” explained the official.
On the delivery time, the Iran Air managing director said the delivery of new planes is a time-taking process, since they are not made prior to receiving orders and Airbus also had orders prior to the Iranian demand.
Parvaresh said Airbus has promised to deliver 5 to 8 of those 118 planes this year. He emphasized that parallel with receiving the new planes the national fleet will be renovated and the oldest planes will be retired.
According to him, maintenance, after-sales service and repairs of the new planes, too, are included in the contract. Airbus is responsible for all such services.