(Persia Digest) - Iran's national flag carrier Iran Air has purchased three Airbus passenger planes and will add them to its fleet by the end of the current Iranian year (March 20).
Mehr News reported that three Airbus 319 aircraft, manufactured in 2002, were purchased from Hungary a year ago and landed at an airport in the city of Mashhad in northwestern Iran. The newly-purchased planes will join Iran Air fleet in the coming days.
Iran Air plans to develop its fleet of aircraft to provide better services to its passengers.
Currently, the flag carrier has 29 aircraft operating flights in the country, which would rise to 32 after the addition of the three planes.
Iran's Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) has given the green light to the domestic airlines to purchase and import planes, CAO head said last week.
Ali Abedzadeh added that CAO has issued the necessary permits for the domestic airlines to import airplanes, independent of the government.
According to him, the country needs at least 500 civil airplanes and CAO is trying to facilitate the import of such aircraft.
The move comes in the wake of the US sanctions, which prevented Iran from receiving the brand new Airbus and ATR planes it had purchased.
To upgrade its aging fleet, Iran Air ordered 200 passenger aircraft — 100 from Airbus, 80 from Boeing and 20 from Franco-Italian turboprop maker ATR — after the landmark 2015 nuclear deal was reached between Iran and six other countries.
But the US Treasury Department revoked the licenses of Boeing and France’s Airbus to sell commercial planes to Iran Air after US President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the agreement in May and reimposed sanctions.
Under a special agreement after US licenses were revoked but before new sanctions came into force on November 5, ATR delivered 13 of the 20 turboprop aircraft sought by Iran Air while the rest are yet to be delivered.
Airbus, which delivered three aircraft before the licenses were withdrawn, continues to show the order as active on its books.
Boeing never officially added Iran’s order to its list of sold jets and has said it will not pursue the deal.
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