ATR eyes 20-plane deal with Iran


TOULOUSE: A deal for Iran to buy 20 short-haul passenger aircraft from ATR should be signed imminently, the head of the European planemaker told media on Friday.

The deal will come after Iran, which had not directly purchased a Western-built plane in nearly 40 years, signed contracts with Europe’s Airbus and US rival Boeing last year to purchase about 180 jets.

That became possible after an agreement between Iran and six major powers lifted most international sanctions imposed on Tehran, in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear programme.

“We have concluded the negotiations and we should sign the contract imminently,” ATR’s CEO Christian Scherer told media.

Some Iranian media quoted ATR officials as saying on Friday that the deal had been signed.

Toulouse-based ATR, co-owned by Airbus and Italy’s Leonardo Finmeccanica, reported in February preliminary orders from Iran for 20 twin-engine turboprop ATR 72-600 aircraft.

Iranian officials said in December the contract for 20 planes was worth $400 million.

Iran’s first Western airplane ordered since the lifting of sanctions, an Airbus A321, landed at Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport last week.