INSIGHT-Aviation giants tread carefully in test case for post-sanctions Iran
* Iran said to need at least 400 jets in next decade
* Jetmakers adopt cautious tone despite big potential market
* Suppliers assess legal, regulatory, political risks
* Jetliner demand seen as test case for reopening business
By Tim Hepher and Conor Humphries
DUBLIN, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Freed from nuclear-related sanctions, Iran has signalled its appetite to buy more than 100 Western planes, a prospect that would usually have the giants of the $130 billion-a-year jet industry scrambling for a piece of the action.
But a muted response from both Airbus and arch-rival Boeing underscores the lingering uncertainty and complications of doing business with Tehran.
Western and Iranian officials say Iran will require at least 400 jets over a decade to replenish its ageing fleet. Of those, 100-200 are pressingly needed, and would be worth over $20 billion at list prices.
That makes it a hugely enticing market at a time when planemakers are facing a slowdown after years of strong orders. Continued...