Business

Iran signs $16bn deal to buy 80 Boeing aircraft

  • 11 December 2016
  • From the section Business
Iran Air aircraft on the tarmac at Tehran Image copyright AP
Image caption The deal will allow Iran Air to update its ageing fleet

State airline Iran Air says it has signed a deal to buy 80 passenger planes from US aircraft maker Boeing.

The 10-year deal includes 50 of the 737 MAX 8 aircraft, and 15 of the 777-300 ERs planes plus 15 777-9s jets.

It is the biggest US-Iran deal since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Boeing confirmed that the deal was worth $16.6bn at current list prices, and had been approved by the US government. The first aircraft are scheduled for delivery in 2018.

"Today's agreement will support tens of thousands of US jobs directly associated with production and delivery of the 777-300ERs, and nearly 100,000 US jobs in the US aerospace value stream for the full course of deliveries," the company said.

The deal, which follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two parties in June, will help Iran modernise and expand its ageing commercial aircraft fleet.

Today's agreement will support tens of thousands of U.S. jobs directly associated with production and delivery of the 777-300ERs and nearly 100,000 U.S. jobs in the U.S. aerospace value stream for the full course of deliveries. The first airplanes under this agreement are scheduled for delivery in 2018.

Political issues

In September, the US government granted permission to Boeing and European rival Airbus to sell billions of dollars' worth of aircraft to Iran.

It came after the US and other nations agreed last year to lift sanctions on Iran, in exchange for it ceasing its nuclear activities.

President-elect Donald Trump has criticised that nuclear deal, and Congressional Republicans are making efforts to counter the accord.

Last month the House of Representatives, the lower house of the US Congress, passed a bill designed to halt the sale of commercial aircraft to Iran.

If approved it would prevent the US Treasury from issuing licences that American banks would require to finance sales of commercial aircraft.

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