MIAMI — Iran Air and Boeing have reached an agreement for 80 aircraft, the first of its kind since the beginning of the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
Since 1995, Iran’s aviation industry has been subject to an embargo that prevented Western manufacturers from selling equipment and providing maintenance logistics to the aging country’s air transport fleet, which is nearing three decades of service.
The sale of 50 737 MAX 8s, 15 777-300ERs and 15 777-9s is valued at $16.6 billion at list prices, with initial deliveries slated in 2018, with more airliners following over the next decade, Iranian officials say.
Last September, Washington granted permission to Boeing and Airbus to sell aircraft to Iran. Airbus needed the approval from the US approval as at least 10 percent of the aircraft parts are of American origin.
The Airbus deal also includes support in the modernization of Iran’s air traffic control services, airport operations and aircraft maintenance, regulatory harmonization and technical and academic training and industrial cooperation.
According to US Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), the deal is “good news for Washington state and will help support the thousands of good-paying jobs in my district that rely on trade and Boeing’s ability to compete in the global marketplace.”
However, not all of Larsen’s colleagues in Congress have been positive about the agreement. Last month, the House approved legislation aimed to black any US financing for commercial aircraft sales to Iran. While the measure was stymied in the Senate, opponents have said they’ll renew the fight in the next Congress.
President-elect Donald Trump has previously got into arguments with Boeing over the projected costs of the future Air Force One, and the company’s plan to open a 737 completion and delivery center in China, but it is unclear whether he would scrap the agreement.