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.
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."