Iran says Russia’s planemaker Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company is moving closer to a deal to sell its Superjet 100 aircraft to the country.
Maqsoud As’adi Samani, the secretary of the Association of Iranian Airlines, was quoted by the domestic media as saying that Sukhoi had already started technical talks to obtain a license from the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to sell the planes to Iran.
“The manufacturer of Sukhoi Superjet 100 is following procedures to receive due OFAC permits to enter Iran’s market,” As’adi Samani was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
“Chances of SSJ-100 depend on the confirmation of Iran Civil Aviation Organization regarding the airworthiness of the aircraft as well as the OFAC license,” Mehr News Agency quoted him as saying in a report that was also carried by the English-language newspaper the Financial Tribune.
The 108-seat twin-engine SSJ-100 is among Iran’s options for renovation of its fleet of regional jets, alongside Japan’s Mitsubishi Regional Jet and Brazil’s Embraer.
Russia’s media reported in December of last year that Sukhoi had sealed a basic deal with an unnamed Iranian company to study the projected sales of its SSJ-100s.
Interfax news agency quoted an anonymous Russia aviation official as confirming the development. The official added, however, that the agreement was still not binding.
Hossein Alaei, the head of Iran’s Aseman Airlines, had earlier said his company was negotiating with Sukhoi as well as several other leading global plane makers to renovate its fleet.
Alaei added that Sukhoi had carried out trial flights of its Superjet 100 in Tehran in December 2016 – what he said had been carried out at the invitation of Aseman Airlines.