After Airbus, Iran edges toward historic Boeing deal
By Tim Hepher
DUBLIN (Reuters) - Iranair is discussing a historic aircraft purchase with Boeing, potentially matching an order for over 100 jets from Airbus, but obstacles to both deals need to be resolved so that last year's accord to lift sanctions can be honored, its chairman said.
The Iranian flag carrier is also talking to Boeing about providing support for its aging fleet following the deal between Tehran and six major powers to ease economic sanctions in return for curbs on Iran's nuclear activities.
"Meetings and negotiations are going on. We hope that in the future we can reach an understanding with each other," Iranair Chairman Farhad Parvaresh told Reuters in an interview.
"The number and type of aircraft have to be discussed in the future, but the first step is to have a mutual understanding."
Iranair agreed in January to buy 118 jets worth $27 billion at list prices from Airbus. The deal was conditional on U.S. export licenses because of the quantity of U.S.-built parts.
Asked whether Iranair was looking at an even bigger deal with Boeing (BA.N: Quote), Parvaresh said, "No, not bigger than Airbus; maybe close, but this also depends on the situation. Anyhow Iran is in need of at least 300 aircraft for the next decade."
He said any such deal also depended "of course on our government as well, because we are a state-owned company".
After decades of estrangement, Boeing officials have visited Iran to pitch their wares to Iranair and some other carriers under a marketing license granted by the U.S. government in February. Continued...