Iran’s Aseman Airlines signs up to buy at least 30 Boeing jets

Boeing announced on April 4, 2017 that it has signed a new, $3 billion deal with Iran’s Aseman Airlines for 30 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. (AP)

Iran’s Aseman Airlines has signed a tentative deal to buy at least 30 Boeing 737 MAX jets, in the first new business with the US planemaker since US President Donald Trump took office vowing to take a tougher stance toward Iran. Owned by Iran’s civil service pension foundation but managed as a private company, Aseman is Iran’s third-largest airline by active fleet size, according to the CAPA consultancy.

Iran’s official Islamic Republic News Agency said on Tuesday that representatives of Aseman and Boeing had signed an agreement in Tehran covering as many as 60 jets, including options, after a year of negotiations.

Boeing described the deal as a “memorandum of agreement,” a type of transaction that falls short of a binding contract and is subject to government approvals. It covers concrete plans for Aseman to buy 30 aircraft with options for a further 30, it added. If completed, the main part of the deal for 30 jets would be worth $3.4 billion at list prices, though airlines typically win discounts of around 50 percent for large deals.

Also read: Iran on first Airbus plane in decades: ‘A great day’

Boeing has already agreed to sell 80 aircraft to flag carrier IranAir under a deal between Tehran and major powers that led last year to the lifting of most sanctions against Iran in return for restrictions on its nuclear technology development activities.

Trump has said he opposes the nuclear sanctions pact, but has not explicitly stated a view on the aircraft deals reached under the accord, which the US aerospace industry says would protect thousands of jobs. Washington last month imposed separate sanctions on 25 Iranian individuals and entities following a ballistic missile test. Iran retaliated with its own sanctions.

In a statement on the latest deal, Boeing cited US Department of Commerce data suggesting an “aerospace sale of this magnitude creates or sustains approximately 18,000 jobs in the United States”.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:53 - GMT 06:53