MIAMI — After the last week announcement for 118 Airbus jetliners, Iran Air has placed an order for up to 40 ATR 72-600 (20 firm plus 20 options) valued at €1 billion ($1.1 billion) at list prices.

ATR said that commercial discussions were held in Rome and Paris, on the occasion of the visit of the President of Iran, Hassan Rohani, and the country’s Minister of Transportation of Iran Abbas Ahmad Akhoundi. “During the negotiations, the Italian and French states played an important role to achieve the signing of this deal,” the planemaker said.

Iran Air CEO Farhad Parvaresh (left) signs the agreement with ATR CEO Patrick de Castelbajac (right) (Credits: ATR)
Iran Air CEO Farhad Parvaresh (left) signs the agreement with ATR CEO Patrick de Castelbajac (right) (Credits: ATR)

Since 1995, Iran’s aviation industry was subject to an embargo that prevented Western manufacturers from selling equipment and provide maintenance logistics to the aging country’s air transport fleet, which averages 26.8 years of service, according to airfleets.net.

The embargo has now been lifted after Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program.

ATR is “honored to take part in this new era in Iran by providing the national airline with aircraft that will strongly contribute to reinforce and boost regional transportation across the country” declared Patrick de Castelbajac, Chief Executive Officer of ATR.

The decision seems to be another blow to Bombardier, which has been seeking more orders for its Dash 8 Q400 turboprop, and which currently has a backlog for 48 aircraft. In the recent years, Bombardier has lost market share in certain regional markets such as the Caribbean, where carriers such as Bahamasair, LIAT and Caribbean Airlines, all traditional Dash 8 operators, opted to switch their fleets to ATR aircraft.