Iran says one of its airlines is planning to buy over two dozen planes from Japan’s industrial giant Mitsubishi thus confirming earlier reports that a deal to the same effect is in the pipeline.
Iran's Deputy Transport Minister Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan has been quoted by the media as saying that a total of 25 planes – Mitsubishi Regional Jets – are planned to be purchased from Mitsubishi adding that the value of the purchase will be around $500 million.
Fakhrieh Kashan added that most of the planes are to be provided to Iran Aseman Airlines.
The official emphasized that talks with the Japanese company over the purchase are in their early stages. He also said that similar negotiations are underway to purchase MRJs for other Iranian airlines, as well.
Japan’s Nikki newspaper reported in mid-July that Mitsubishi Aircraft – the aviation arm of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries - is negotiating with Iran to provide the country with its regional passenger jets that are currently under development. It said the company had started surveys over the Iranian market last September – several months before the US-engineered sanctions against Iran were lifted.
It said the company has been negotiating over jet sales with Iran’s flag carrier Iran Air and Iran Aseman Airlines, as well as the country's aviation authorities.
Iran Air is weighing purchasing 80 70-seat Mitsubishi Regional Jets and using them for domestic routes, Nikki added.
The report added that Mitsubishi is trying to use the help of the Japanese government over the purchase and wants to make use of state-backed financing.