The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has issued selling licenses for Airbus and Boeing, urgent documents for the two deals involving over 220 aircraft.
Since Iran Air’s MoU with Airbus in January 2016, both parties have awaited a sales permission from the US’ Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Boeing has, on the other hand, waited for a license during a 3 months period.
The OFAC license, together with financing issues, has been the main concerns in Airbus’ deal with Iran Air. The financing troubles are said to be controlled, and the first papers have been signed with an undisclosed French or German bank. This afternoon, the OFAC license was issued, according to Reuters and Iranian officials expect the 112 aircraft Airbus deal to be completely finalised “within days”.
The number of Airbus aircraft were reduced from 118 to 112 due to the delayed OFAC license. The 6 subjected aircraft were expected to be delivered in 2016.
The license does though not include all the 112 aircraft but only 17, yet this is seen as a major victory for Iran Air and Iran. Another license concerning the rest of the deal is expected to be issued in a few days, a license sparkling less pessimism after the recent positive news. The 17 A320s and A330s are according to Airbus to be ‘early-deliveries’.
The Airbus Group subsidiary ATR is yet waiting for a license. Iran Air and ATR inked a deal including 20 aircraft with 20 additional on option.
In 2017, Iran Air expects to take delivery of 14 aircraft and by 2024 Airbus should have delivered all the ordered aircraft. Following the process, Airbus officials are visiting Tehran.
Iran Air was expected to take delivery of about 5 to 8 aircraft this year, including A320s, A330s and ATRs. The national carrier has also been linked to information about acquiring a few A350s from SriLankan Airlines, although the Ministry has denied.
Just a few hours after the Airbus news, Boeing announced that they also have received a license from OFAC. The deal concerning 109 aircraft can now proceed past the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) stage, signed in late-June 2016.
It is estimated that foreign airlines annually earn up to $4 billion in Iran and the national carrier, Iran Air, is set to return as a serious competitor to the global airlines with planned orders of around 241 aircraft. Another 300 aircraft are needed in the next decade, the Minister of Roads and Urban Developments Abbas Akhoundi has said.
Currently, Iran has around 17 airlines with a total of 273 aircraft, whereof 266 are passengers aircraft. Last week, AIRA gave accepted to establish 6 new airlines. The average aircraft age in Iran is 24 years, compared to Emirates’ 6 years.