Iran, Airbus to start talks on new passenger jets

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Airbus confirmed on Monday that it was poised to begin negotiations with Iran for the sale of dozens of new commercial aircraft.

The New York Times reported from London that the deal is part of a raft of international business that is expected to flow toward Tehran since economic sanctions were lifted.
The daily quoted Stefan Schaffrath, an Airbus spokesman in Toulouse, France, as saying, “We have listened to the Iranians, and we are ready to engage in commercial negotiations.”
“We have been negotiating for 10 months” for the purchase of planes, but “there was no way to pay for them because of banking sanctions,” the Iranian news media quoted Abbas Akhoondi, transportation minister, as saying.
News reports, citing Iranian officials, have indicated that the orders could include dozens of Airbus’s biggest-selling single-aisle A320 jets, as well as several A330 and A350 widebodies, according to the Times.
Iran’s flag carrier, Iran Air, is also interested in as many as eight A380s, according to the report, as well as around 40 regional turboprops built by ATR, a joint venture between Airbus and Finmeccanica of Italy.
The orders, which are likely to be partly financed with loans from European export-credit agencies, could be announced this week in Paris during a visit by the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, Akhoondi was quoted saying.

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