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Published on : Friday, June 24, 2016
Boeing Co. aims to sell 80 jets directly to Iran Air as part of a proposed deal worth up to $17.6 billion, as eased U.S. sanctions open the way for the Islamic Republic to rebuild its airliner fleet.
The deal’s value, based on list prices, would be among the largest by a U.S. firm since the sanctions were loosened. Boeing hadn’t previously disclosed the size of the preliminary sale agreed upon this week, but provided details in a letter to two lawmakers who had expressed concerns about a deal, a copy of which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
The order has yet to be finalized and requires U.S. government approval. Iran is also buying planes from Airbus Group SE to replace its airlines’ aging fleet.
Iran Air is looking to buy 40 Boeing 737 Max jets and six of the current-generation single-aisle plane. Boeing said in the letter it would also help the airline lease 29 new 737s, which the person briefed on the talks said would also be the existing model.
The airline also wants to buy 15 long-range Boeing 777-300ER jets and 15 of the future-generation 777-9X aircraft, according to the person.
A finalized deal would provide a big boost to the current-generation 777 program as Boeing needs more orders to sustain production as it transitions to its new 777X jetliner later this decade.
Iran Air operated vintage 747 jets long-past their standard retirement age, and adding four of the latest- generation 747-8 jumbos would boost a program that has just 22 unfilled orders. It remains unclear if Iran Air would take four newly manufactured 747s or four already-built jumbos that were to be delivered to the defunct Russian airline Transaero.
Deliveries of the Boeing jets are due to run from next year until 2025, according to the letter.
Iran Air isn’t looking to acquire any long-range 787 Dreamliners, with new customers facing a waiting list of several years for the plane.
Boeing is moving slowly to complete any deal with Iran, aiming to avoid running afoul of the U.S. Government or members of Congress who have objected to the aerospace giant’s dealings with Iran Air. The carrier was removed from the U.S. sanctions list along with nearly 400 other entities as part of the nuclear pact between Iran and six world powers.
“You can be assured that if at any time we become aware that any party with which we are conducting business is no longer approved by the U.S. Government that we will cease doing business with that party,” wrote Tim Keating, Boeing’s senior vice president of Government Operations, in the letter.
All the aircraft tentatively ordered by Iran Air are powered by engines manufactured by General Electric Co. The single-aisle 737s are powered by CFM International engines, which is a joint venture between GE and Safran SA.
Tags: iran air