Iran may be set to receive two Boeing 777s as early as this month, the first American-made aircraft delivered to Iran since the fall of the Shah in 1979. As Reuters reports:
IranAir may get its first new Boeing jetliner a year earlier than expected under a deal to take jets originally bought by cash-strapped Turkish Airlines, Iranian media and industry sources said.
Iran had been expected to receive the first of 80 aircraft ordered from the U.S. planemaker in April 2018, but at least one brand-new aircraft is reported to be sitting unused because it is no longer needed by the Turkish carrier.
Industry sources said Boeing was in negotiations to release at least one 777-300ER originally built for Turkish Airlines, which is deferring deliveries due to weaker traffic following last year’s failed coup attempt in Turkey….
Iran’s Deputy Roads and Urban Development Minister Asghar Fakhrieh-Kashan told the semi-official Mehr news agency the first Boeing 777 aircraft would reach Tehran within a month.
If confirmed, the deliveries would be months ahead of schedule for the $16.6 billion deal signed between IranAir and Boeing in December. Replacing its outdated commercial aviation fleet has been a priority for Iran since the end of nuclear sanctions under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the Iran nuclear deal). Iran has signed a flurry of deals with Boeing, Airbus and other western aircraft manufacturers worth tens of billions of dollars. Combined with other big ticket items, most notably energy and energy infrastructure deals, proponents of the nuclear deal both inside and outside Iran hope that increased economic ties will lock-in the Trump administration and other nuclear deal skeptics.
The only good news for opponents of the nuclear deal is that so far foreign corporations have been hesitant to actually enter the Iranian market, limited in particular by banking restrictions and other regulatory obstacles. But as these Boeing deliveries show, the countdown to Iran’s full re-emergence into the global market may be starting to tick faster.