The European aviation giant, Airbus, has sealed a contract with the Iranian flag carrier, Iran Air, for the sale of 100 aircraft, worth over $18 billion dollars at list prices, to the Islamic Republic.
On Thursday, Iran Air Chairman and CEO Farhad Parvaresh and Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Bregier finalized the accord, which was initially signed in Paris back in January 2016, the France-based plane maker announced in a press release.
The agreement covered 46 Airbus A320 planes, 38 A330 planes and 16 A350 XWB aircraft, with deliveries due to begin in early 2017.
Airbus is the world’s Number 2 jet maker after Boeing, a US-based multinational plane manufacturer.
Bregier described the deal as “a significant first step in the overall modernization of Iran’s commercial aviation sector,” saying it also includes pilot training, airport operations and air traffic management.
Parvaresh, for his part, expressed delight at cooperation with Airbus, stressing it has paved the way “for more practical steps to follow for Iran Air’s fleet renewal.”
“Iran Air considers this agreement an important step towards a stronger international presence in civil aviation. We hope this success signals to the world that the commercial goals of Iran and its counterparts are better achieved with international cooperation and collaboration,” he added.
The deal with Airbus received the go-ahead from the US Treasury Department in November.
Earlier this month, Iran Air finalized a deal for 80 jetliners from US plane maker Boeing Co., with the planes scheduled to start arriving in 2018.
The deals were made possible after the US removed a ban on selling Iran passenger aircraft and spare parts following the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Tehran and the P5+1 group of world powers, namely Russia, China, France, Britain, and the US plus Germany hammered out the nuclear accord in July 2015.
It went into effect in January and resolved a long-running dispute over Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.