Bombardier says Iranian sales talks progress, denies new airline

Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:54pm EDT
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By Allison Lampert

Montreal, April 24 (Reuters) - Reports that Bombardier Inc is involved in launching an airline in Iran are inaccurate, the Canadian planemaker said on Sunday, although it confirmed it was in talks for sales as its executive chairman visited the country to drum up business.

Bombardier Executive Chairman Pierre Beaudoin led a delegation of company aviation and rail executives to Iran last week, but no deal has been reached yet on sales with Iranian customers, company spokeswoman Marianella de la Barrera said on Sunday.

Aviation Iran reported on Saturday that Bombardier signed a memorandum of understanding with officials from Iran's Qeshm Free Zone on establishing an airline.

Citing an anonymous source, Bloomberg reported on Sunday that Qeshm Free Zone officials hoped to conclude a deal with Bombardier in the next two months on a project to set up an airline in the southern Qeshm island.

De la Barrera said by phone that Bombardier did not plan to launch and run a new airline, but she could not say specifically whether the Montreal-based company was holding talks to sell planes to an Iranian start-up.

"We build, market and sell aircraft and trains," she said.

She said the company's talks in the country were progressing.

"We are advancing in discussions," she said. "We are visiting more often."   Continued...