Article taken fomr this weeks Flight International®
Iran has reached agreement with France over its planned purchase of four Airbus A330-300 for operation by flag carrrier Iran Air, with deliveries of the aircraft to begin in 2001.
Iranian transport minister Mohammed Hojjati told the country's official news agency, IRNA, that the US$480 million deal was agreed at a meeting in Paris with his French counterpart Jean-Claude Gayssot. The meeting took place during an official visit to France by Iranian president Mohammed Khatami.
Airbus Industrie declined to comment on any talks with Iran Air or whether it expects to finalise a contract with the carrier soon.
Iran Air is known to have been in discussions with Airbus about the four-aircraft order for months. The airline has an urgent need to renew its fleet, the bulk of which is more than 20 years and includes seven A300s, a Boeing 707, six 727s, three 737s, eight 747s, and five Fokker 100s.
A trade embargo against Iran appears to favour the UK's Rolls-Royce as engine supplier for the A330s if the purchase goes ahead. The USA did not, however, block the sale of a pair of General Electric CF6-80C2-powered A300-600Rs which were delivered in late 1994. Since then relations have warmed between Iran and the West following elections which installed a more moderate government in Teheran.
In mid-1996 it emerged that Iran Air was discussing an order with Airbus worth US$1 billion, covering seven R-R Trent 700-powered A330s and 10 A321s with International Aero Engines V2500s. That deal, never finalised, was widely seen as an attempt by Iran to heighten European opposition to the US embargo.
Iran is also reported to have concluded a deal with France to acquire several civil air traffic control radars.
Anyways, I think most of us have been expecting this, as it has been reported by the press, and also in the forum, at any rate, I was just curious as to some of your views.