Image Attribute: Boeing 777, Wikipedia
U.S. plane-maker Boeing will deliver two 777 passenger jets to Iran's national carrier Iran Air within the next month, one of the first major U.S. business deliveries with Iran after years of Western sanctions, Deputy Roads, and Urban Development Minister Asghar Fakhrieh-Kashan said noting that that the plane was initially ordered by Turkish Airlines that later cancelled the order, cited by Iran’s Mehr News Agency.
“After Turkish Airlines cancelled the purchase, Boeing suggested it can deliver the plane to Iran sooner than the first official delivery,” the deputy minister explained, “Iran Air is currently studying the plane’s specifications and that the airline will opt to receive the jet if it is compatible with Iran’s climatic conditions as well as its technical needs.”
“If the plane’s options agree with the needs and preferences of Iran Air, it will be delivered within a month; in case we require additional options in the plane’s interior such as the galley or the number of seats, the delivery will be postponed by another month,” the deputy minister was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
The 777 is a twin-engine, wide-body craft capable of flying a distance of up to 15,800 kilometers. However, No price was given, but a Boeing 777 usually carries a price tag of $258 million to $315 million.
Both Boeing and Airbus has received licenses from the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to sell aircraft to Iran Air. Airbus has agreed to sell a total of 100 planes to the flag carrier.
Boeing announced last year that Iran Air had orders for 80 Boeing aircraft -- 50 narrow-bodied 737s and 30 long-range 777s -- in a deal worth more than $16 billion.
However, the Iranian government subsequently said it will only pay half of the announced price because of reduced purchasing options offered by Boeing.
Boeing did not comment on the price. It had said the value of the deal was based on list prices, though customers typically negotiate discounts for large orders.
Boeing’s deal was made possible by the nuclear accord Iran negotiated with world powers, enabling them to lift sanctions in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear activities.
After the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, some industry officials expressed concerns that the administration’s tough stand against Iran could endanger the deal and perhaps hand more business to Boeing rival Airbus.
Trump has threatened to renegotiate the nuclear deal with Iran, a move U.S. allies have opposed.
In a separate deal announced on April 4, Iran’s Aseman Airlines – the country’s third-largest carrier – said it will buy 30 737 MAX airliners with an option to purchase 30 more for a deal worth about $3 billion. Boeing said the first delivery would come in 2022.
Most of Iran's aging fleet of 250 commercial planes was purchased before the 1979 revolution, and only about 162 are still in operating condition. Iran says it intends to buy 400 new planes over the next decade.
Based on reporting by IRNA, Mehr News Agency, RFE/RL, and dpa