Press TV- Iran’s national flag carrier Iran Air says it expects to receive the first of a series of planes purchased from ATR in two weeks.
Iran Air Managing Director Farhad Parvaresh told the domestic media that this would be part of the first batch of four turboprops which would be gradually delivered to Iran over the next few months.
Parvaresh added that pilots had been sent to France to receive the required trainings from ATR for flying the planes.
In April, Iran Air signed an agreement with the French-Italian aircraft manufacturer to purchase a total of 20 medium-range turboprops.
Parvaresh told Iran’s IRNA news agency that the planes would be used for flights to Iran’s provincial capitals as well as the country’s islands in the Persian Gulf.
He added that they could also be used for flights to the UAE’s Dubai or Azerbaijan’s Baku.
Last month, Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi said that providing small- to medium-range planes manufactured by the same company played a central role in the government’s plan to rejuvenate Iran’s air transportation fleet.
Akhoundi added that the agreement with ATR had been devised to the same effect.
He further emphasized that Iran Air would take delivery of all planes purchased from the European supplier within the next two years.
US aviation giant Boeing has already signed a deal with Iran Air worth $16.6 billion to sell 80 planes to the company and has also signed a $3 billion deal to sell another 30 to Iran’s Aseman Airlines.
Boeing’s biggest European rival – Airbus – has signed another deal estimated to be worth some $25 billion to sell some 100 planes to Iran Air.
Airbus has so far delivered three planes to Iran and more deliveries are expected to be made in the near future. Boeing’s first delivery is expected to take place next spring.