Iran Air has taken delivery of its first new aircraft, an A321, from a historic 100-aircraft Airbus order. The A321 is the first delivery of a long-awaited 100-strong Airbus order, comprising 46 A320s, 38 A330s and 16 A350s, that was finalized Dec. 22.

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

Iran Air has also finalized a contract with Boeing for 80 aircraft.

“This significant milestone marks the first practical step in Iran Air’s ambitious passenger aircraft fleet renewal and its stronger presence in international civil aviation Iran Air chairman and CEO Farhad Parvaresh said.

Iran is forecast to require some 400 to 500 new aircraft to modernize as well as to grow its existing passenger fleet to catch up with years of pent-up demand on domestic as well as international routes, Airbus said in a statement.

Linda Blachly