|Iran will buy 400 new airliners by 2025 if sanctions lifted||
Iran is looking to buy 400 passenger planes in the next 10 years to upgrade its fleet if Western sanctions imposed over its controversial nuclear program are lifted, the country's top aviation official said Wednesday.
The remark by Ali Reza Jahangirian of Iran's Civil Aviation Organization reflects Tehran's interest in attracting foreign investment and upgrading its aviation industry.
It comes amid a new climate in the country following the election last June of new President Hassan Rouhani who has focused his efforts on reviving Iran's faltering economy.
"Iranian airlines will be ready to buy 40 jets a year," Jahangirian said, without disclosing specifics of what could be a multi-billion dollar project.
Jahangirian also said Iran has received "very positive signals" from Western companies, including Boeing Co. and General Electric Co. about getting new spare parts. Both Boeing and GE have said the U.S. Treasury Department has given them licenses to export to Iran.
Jahangirian said that out of Iran's 250 commercial planes, about 150 are flying while the rest are grounded due to lack of spare parts.
Jahangirian also said that Iran has taken some "technical" steps in preparing for a resumption of direct flights with the United States but that more needs to be done before that becomes a reality.
Direct flights between the two countries were cut after the 1979 revolution.
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