PARIS: Iran agreed Thursday to buy 118 Airbus aircraft worth about $25 billion (22 billion euros), according to a memorandum of understanding signed during a visit to France by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
The deal to purchase 73 long-haul and 45 medium-haul planes, to be finalised once international sanctions against Iran are fully lifted, was signed at a ceremony attended by Rouhani and French President Francois Hollande.
The deal covers “the acquisition of 118 new aircraft, the training of pilots, airport operations and ATM (Air Traffic Management) support,” Airbus said in a statement.
An embargo dating from 1995 has prevented Western manufacturers from selling equipment and spare parts to Iranian companies.
The restrictions, which have been blamed for crippling the industry, were partly lifted by an interim agreement on Iran’s nuclear program that came into force in January 2014.
This allowed for the sale of spare parts, although direct sales of aircraft remained banned.
Iran’s fleet is now around 140 aircraft, with an average age of around 20 years, and many are in desperate need of replacement.