Iran to finalize Airbus deal by Friday: minister

December 18, 2016 - 19:20

TEHRAN - Iran is to finalize aircraft purchase deal with the European plane maker Airbus by Friday, Transport Minister Abbas Akhoundi told Tasnim news agency on Sunday.

Making the remarks on the sidelines of the 1st International Exhibition of Transports and Logistics, Road Construction, Road Maintenance, and Related Industries, Akhoundi added that details of the deal will be announced once it is signed.

Uncertainty over financing of the deal and political opposition in the United States against Iran have slowed down Tehran’s efforts to import aircraft following the lifting of sanctions this year.

Iran signed a $16.6 billion deal for 80 Boeing passenger jets last week, the biggest package of firm contracts with Western companies since Iran's 1979 revolution.

Iran Air Chief Executive Farhad Parvaresh said at the time that he was hopeful to finalize the deal with Airbus in two weeks.

“There are only few small remaining issues like financing. Airbus has agreed to provide financing for 17 planes,” he was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency.

Iranian officials told Reuters in November that they have reached a deal with a foreign leasing company to finance the first 17 jets from Airbus but declined to name the lessor involved.

Parvaresh said Iran Air was trying to get first five Airbus planes before March 2017.

During a visit by President Hassan Rouhani to Paris in January 2016, Iran provisionally ordered 118 Airbus jets worth $27 billion.

HJ/MA/MG

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