Iran said on Monday that it expects to receive five to eight Airbus planes by the end of 2016.
Ali Abedzadeh, the head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization (CAO), has been quoted by the media as saying that the planes will be A320 and A330 passenger jets which will be handed over to Iran’s national flag carrier Iran Air within the next months.
This, Abedzadeh said, will be based on a draft agreement that was signed with Airbus in January during the visit to Paris by Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.
He further expressed hope that the problems over providing funds for Iran’s plane purchases from Airbus would be resolved by the related institutions as soon as possible.
Abedzadeh also said that the draft agreement with Airbus will be finalized in the near future.
The French Transport Minister Alain Vidalies said last week that negotiations over the agreement have been finalized, adding that Airbus has already started proceedings to provide planes and aviation equipment to the Islamic Republic.
Vidalies - who had arrived in Tehran on Sunday night on board of the first Air France jet to land in Iran in eight years - added that negotiations are at the same time underway with the administration of President Barack Obama to receive the required authorizations for sales of planes to Iran.
Iranian officials have already emphasized that the country will need to buy 500 commercial jets of various models for various short-, medium- and long-distance routes.
The agreement with Airbus – which is worth $27 billion – envisages purchasing 118 new planes by Iran. The country has also conducted advanced trade talks with Boeing.
On Sunday, an unnamed official from the Canadian aviation giant Bombardier was quoted by Bloomberg as saying that the company plans to launch its own airline in southern Iran. This, however, was denied later on Monday. Nevertheless, Bombardier Marianella de la Barrera said certain sales talks are underway with Iran but did not provide any details.
"We build, market and sell aircraft and trains," de la Barrera said. She said the company's talks in the country were progressing. "We are advancing in discussions," she said. "We are visiting more often."