IRAN Air intends to acquire up to 90 planes annually from Boeing and Airbus to modernise its aging fleet, once Western sanctions are lifted, according to Iran's state news agency IRNA, which quoted a senior aviation official.
"Iran will buy a total of 80-90 planes per year from the two aviation giants in the first phase of renovating its air fleet," caretaker director of Iran's Civil Aviation Organisation, Mohammad Khodakarami, told IRNA, the Big News Network.com reported.
Last month's nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers (US, UK, Germany, France, Russia and China) has raised the prospect of banking and trade sanctions on Iran being lifted toward the end of this year.
The current average age of the airline's fleet is 23 years, almost twice the international average.
"We will purchase planes from Boeing and Airbus in equal numbers," Mr Khodakarami was quoted as saying, adding that Iran would initially need to add at least 80 planes to its fleet each year to catch up to international standards.
That would mean a total of 300 planes within five years, he added. The deal, if it comes to pass, will be one of the largest in aviation history. Iranian and Western industry officials had earlier estimated that Iran would need a total of 400 aircraft in the next decade.
The Middle Eastern airline is the flag carrier of Iran, operating services to 80 destinations. Its cargo fleet, operated by subsidiary Iran Air Cargo, offers 20 scheduled services and five charter destinations. Iran Air's main bases are the Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport for international flights and Tehran Mehrabad Airport for domestic flights.
Source : HKSG.