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Airbus announces $18B deal with Iran Air, topping Boeing

By
Eric DuVall
Iran Air and Airbus announced a deal for the French airplane manufacturer to sell 100 planes, the bulk being the A330 and A320 seen here. The deal will help modernize one of the oldest airline fleets in the world after international economic sanctions were lifted earlier this year. Photo courtesy Airbus
Iran Air and Airbus announced a deal for the French airplane manufacturer to sell 100 planes, the bulk being the A330 and A320 seen here. The deal will help modernize one of the oldest airline fleets in the world after international economic sanctions were lifted earlier this year. Photo courtesy Airbus

TOULOUSE, France, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- French manufacturer Airbus announced an $18 billion deal with Iran Air to deliver 100 new jetliners, a contract made possible after international sanctions over Iran's nuclear program were lifted.

Iran Air, the nation's flagship carrier, has struggled due to longstanding international embargoes, some of them dating to the 1979 Islamic revolution. As a result, Iran Air was operating one of the world's oldest fleets.

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Iran Air announced a deal two weeks ago with U.S.-manufacturer Boeing to purchase $16 billion in new planes, as well.

Airbus will begin delivery of the planes in early 2017, the company said in a press release. The bulk of the order will be the company's A320 and A330 planes. Though Iran Air had initially expressed interest, the contract does not include any of the signature A380 superjumbo jets, a double-decker jet for which Airbus had struggled to find buyers.

"This is a landmark agreement not only because it paves the way for Iran Air's fleet renewal," Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Bregier said. "Our overall accord includes pilot training, airport operations and air traffic management so this agreement is also a significant first step in the overall modernization of Iran's commercial aviation sector."

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