Iran Gets First Long-Haul Jetliner From Airbus

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Officials attend a ceremony held beside the Airbus A330-200 after it touched down at Mehrabad Airport in Tehran. The first Airbus A321 landed in Mehrabad airport on Thursday January 12, 2017.

Iran Air has taken delivery of its first new Airbus A330 as part of its fleet renewal.

Airbus forecasts that Iran will require some 400-to-500 new aircraft to modernize and expand its existing passenger fleet to catch up with years of pent-up demand on domestic and worldwide routes.

Uncertainty remains over the timing of the rest of the orders as banks shy away from deals with Iran, fearing a "snapback" of worldwide sanctions or USA fines if they are deemed to be breaking U.S. sanctions that remain in force.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury issued necessary permits to Airbus and Boeing for sales of aircraft to Iran.

The aircraft had been officially delivered to Iran earlier in Toulouse.

CEO Iran Air Mr. Farhad Parvaresh and Deputy Minister for International Affairs at the Ministry of Road and Urban Development Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan were onboard the newly-purchased aircraft.

Most of Iran's aging fleet of 250 commercial planes was purchased before 1979, and as of June 2016, only 162 were operational, with the rest grounded because of a lack of spare parts.

The Boeing and Airbus orders comprise deals valued at $34.5 billion at list prices, although the industry offers steep discounts for buyers in bulk.