Iran Air expects to take delivery of its first new Boeing 777-300ER in April 2018, chairman and MD Farhad Parvaresh told ATW at the IATA AGM in Cancun.

In December 2016, Boeing firmed a memorandum of agreement with Iran Air announced earlier that year for 50 narrowbody and 30 widebody aircraft in a deal valued at $16.6 billion at list prices.

“We also hope to add two more Airbus A320s to our fleet this year,” Parvaresh said.

In January, Iran Air took delivery of its first new aircraft, an A321, which operates mainly on domestic routes. The A321 was part of an historic 100-aircraft Airbus order, comprising 46 A320s, 38 A330s and 16 A350s, which was finalized Dec. 22, 2016.

The amended deal was anticipated for most of 2016 and followed the lifting of international sanctions on Iran in January of that year.

Iran Air operates seven new recently delivered aircraft, comprising one A321, two A330-200s and four ATR-72s. Five additional ATR-72s are scheduled for delivery this year, which will be used mainly on secondary domestic routes.

“In 2018, we hope to have three additional new jets in our fleet [including the first 777-300ER],” an advisor to the chairman told ATW.

Iran Air currently operates 40 aircraft, which include a mix of aging Airbus A310/300s, A320s, Fokker 100s and leased MD-80s.

Airbus president commercial aircraft and COO Fabrice Brégier told ATW at the Airbus Media Day in Toulouse that the Iranian market remains promising. “We have signed a 100-aircraft order and what counts is for us to focus on that, delivering according to plan. We have the authorization and the licenses. Everything is in place and we are working within this framework,” he said.

Iran Air transports 1 million passengers on international routes and 3 million on domestic flights per year.

“It is very important for us to upgrade our fleet,” the advisor to the chairman told ATW, adding that all the other legacy carriers that operate to Iran—such as Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines—have modern aircraft in place.

Iran Air is also considering a new route from Teheran to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

Kurt Hofmann