If you’ve never watched one of the Iran Air Boeing 747SP-86 aircraft fly into or out of, an airport near you, you may not have the opportunity for much longer. Their only still active shortened Jumbo, which had its first flight in 1977, remains one of the few of this type still flying passengers anywhere and is likely to join its compatriots in storage soon along with the rest of their ageing fleet.
After much recent speculation, Iran officials signed two agreements on 28th January 2016 with Airbus that covers both new aircraft orders and a comprehensive civil aviation co-operation package with French President François Hollande, during the occasion of President Hassan Rouhani’s official visit to France.
The agreements cover the acquisition of a total of 118 Airbus aircraft, split between 73 widebodies and 45 single aisle and made up of orders for 21 A320ceo family, 24 A320neo family, 27 A330ceo family, 18 A330neo (-900), 16 A350-1000, and 12 A380 aircraft. This will modernise Iran Air’s current fleet, which currently only flies the earlier mentioned older generation Boeing and Airbus aircraft.
The agreement also includes pilot and maintenance training and support services to help the entry into service and efficient operations of these new aircraft. The timeline for delivery has yet to be announced, but with Iran as one of the places many want to visit this year, the acquisition of new aircraft comes at an opportune time and officials of both Iran Air and Airbus were very upbeat in their comments.
…. Today’s announcement is the start of re-establishing our civil aviation sector into the envy of the region and along with partners like Airbus we’ll ensure the highest world standards. Mr Farhad Parvaresh, Iran Air Chairman and CEO.
… The skies have cleared for Iran’s flying public and Airbus is proud to welcome Iran’s commercial aviation back into the international civil aviation community. Today is a significant step in the overhaul and modernisation of Iran’s commercial aviation sector and Airbus stands ready to play its role in supporting it. Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO.