Airbus could finalise the sale of 17 jets to IranAir within 2 weeks

The urgency with which Iran is hoping to import the jets before the May 2017 presidential elections show that the issue is likely to be used to boost Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s image as a pragmatist.

Iran’s flag carrier, IranAir has disclosed Airbus, Europe’s biggest airplane manufacturer, has agreed to arrange for finance for its first 17 planes.

Political opposition from the United States and uncertainties over financing the deal have cast a shadow and have slowed down Teheran’s efforts to import the aircrafts following the partial lifting of U.S. led sanctions.

Iran signed a $16.6 billion deal for the purchase of 80 Boeing passenger jets. It is also reportedly closing in on a deal with Airbus.

As per Farhad Parvaresh, IranAir’s CEO, the deal is likely to be finalized within two weeks.

Iran’s Tasmin news agency reported Parvaresh saying, “There are only a few small remaining issues like financing. Airbus has agreed to provide financing for 17 planes.”

Out of the 118 provisional jets cleared by France and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the first contract involves around 50-60 jets. The financing of these first 17 jets are close too be finalized.

As per industry sources, Dubai’s DAE Capital has been roped in to coordinate efforts with Airbus.

The leasing company has declined to respond to comments.

IranAir is hoping to get at least 5 of these Airbus jets before March 2017.

The timetable suggests the import of these jets could play a role in the Iranian presidential elections scheduled to be held in May wherein president Rouhani, a pragmatist is facing opposition from hardliners who are opposed to the deal.

Iran has also engaged with Boeing. Its continued relationship with it will depend on further financing agreements.

Parvaresh has been quoted as saying, Boeing has agreed to finance at least 6 of these jets with Iran agreeing to pay 15% from its development funds, with the balance sourced from external financing sources.

As per industry sources, Boeing is likely to face stiff opposition from the incoming Republican administration. It could traverse the minefield of partial lifting of U.S. led sanction by including foreign lessors or other financiers to avoid any infringement on core U.S. restrictions on using U.S. financial systems.

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