Source: Press TV
Iran says it will replace A380 Airbus planes with A350 planes if the conditions for their delivery are not met as agreed - an announcement that has now cast doubts if the advanced planes that the country had earlier said wanted for long-distance flights to the Americas will ever be available to Tehran.
Farhad Parvaresh, the managing director of Iran Air, has been quoted by the media as saying that Iran may even go for other Airbus models if any problem occurs over the delivery of A380s.
In January, Iran signed a major deal worth over $27 billion for the purchase of 118 planes from Airbus. The deal - which is yet to be finalized - was signed during a landmark trip to Paris by Iran's President Hassan Rouhani.
Iran Air chief Parvaresh has told the reporters that 16 planes will be A380s that will be - if no problem occurs - delivered to Iran from 2021.
He added that 16 planes will also be A350s which he said are even more advanced than A380s.
The deliveries of A350s will be materialized through financial facilities that will mostly be provided by Airbus as well as European financial institutions, the official added.
Iran will not use its internal resources to fund the purchases of the planes, he added.
Iran has a potential order list for 500 commercial planes to renovate its aging fleet. According to Minister of Transportation Abbas Akhoundi, Iran's current civil aviation fleet consists of 248 aircraft with an average age of 20 years, of which 100 are in storage.
The country will need to buy 500 commercial jets of various models at a cost of $50 billion and has been talking to both Airbus and Boeing to acquire aircraft under lease or sale/leaseback deals, he has said before.
Akhoundi said in January that Airbus's first deliveries to flag carrier Iran Air are due as early as July.
Meanwhile, Iran's media reported in mid-February that Iran wants the long-range Airbus A380 planes for long-distance flights to destinations like New York and Toronto, and Rio de Janeiro in the Americas, Tokyo and Beijing in East Asia, Moscow in Europe, Sydney in Australia, and Casablanca and Johannesburg in Africa.
An Airbus A350 plane at Tehran's Mehrabad airport - Saturday February 20th, 2016
(photos by Mojtaba Mohammadlou, Islamic Republic News Agency)
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