Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan

Iran says to receive ATR planes ‘within days’

Press TV – Iran says it expects to receive the first batch of planes from European aviation player ATR within the next few days.

Iran’s Deputy Minister of Road and Urban Development for International Affairs Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan told the domestic media that four ATR planes would arrive in the country before Friday.

Fakhrieh Kashan told the country’s state news agency IRNA that five more planes would be handed over to Iran until the end of 2017.  However, he did not provide a clear timetable for the deliveries.

All the planes would be delivered to Iran’s national flag-carrier airline Iran Air, IRNA added.

In April, Iran Air finalized an agreement with ATR to buy 20 planes from the company at an estimated cost of above $500 million.

The planes – all ATR 72-600 – would be twin-propeller aircraft that can carry 70 passengers.

Iran Air Managing Director Farhad Parvaresh told reporters in Tehran last month that his company had an option to purchase another 20 planes from the French-Italian company.

On the same front, Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi was quoted by the domestic media as saying in April that ATR planes would be mostly used for flights to Iran’s small airports.

Akhoundi emphasized that providing small- to medium-range planes like those produced by ATR played a central role in the government’s plan to rejuvenate Iran’s air transportation fleet.

Iran’s plans to purchase planes from the France-based company comes after Iran struck deals with European aviation giant Airbus and the US aviation company Boeing in 2016 to purchase about 180 jets.

The agreements came after the restrictions imposed on Iran’s aviation industry were lifted following a nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).