Iran Air says it may finance deal for 80 Boeing jets with domestic backers or even Boeing

Iran Air says it may finance deal for 80 Boeing jets with domestic backers or even Boeing
Thu Dec 14, 2017 08:25:33

Iran Air is considering domestic financing to help pay for its blockbuster jet purchases from Boeing and Airbus, two Iranian newspapers reported Wednesday.

(bizjournals) -- Representatives of Boeing and Airbus are scheduled to visit Tehran next week to discuss financial issues surrounding their respective jet deals, according to the Tehran Times and the Financial Tribune English-language dailies.

“We prefer to use domestic finances rather than depending on foreign financiers,” Iran Air public relations director Masoumeh Asgharzadeh was quoted as saying.

Iran Air retweeted both English media reports on Twitter.

Asgharzadeh said Iran's flagship airline has completed " fruitful negotiations" concerning its aircraft financing and will make announcements soon.

Should no domestic finance packages materialize, Boeing and Airbus said they are ready to directly finance the deals themselves, Iran Air's spokeswoman said.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes spokesman Doug Alder declined to comment.

Boeing and Iran Air signed an agreement on Dec. 11, 2016 covering the purchase of 80 jets valued at $16.6 billion at list prices. The Iranians later said their Boeing deal was worth about $8 billion.

Boeing's deal came months after Airbus signed its own deal with Iran Air in January 2016 to buy 118 European-made jets worth $27 billion at list prices.

Some Washington D.C. lawmakers are opposed to Boeing airplane sales, saying "Iran has ties to state-sponsored terrorism and could misuse the jets".

Others have noted that Iran has respected the conditions of a non-nuclear proliferation deal and earned the right to buy new jets, which the airline needs to modernize and improve safety.

Boeing's deal for 80 passenger jets to Iran includes 30 Boeing 777 jets and four 747-8i aircraft, potentially offering a boost to Boeing's widebody airplane sales and the Puget Sound-area plants that build them.

Boeing hasn't booked the deal as an official order yet, as it requires approval from President Donald Trump's administration under rules governing exports to Iran.

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said this fall that Boeing's Iran Air deal and two others are moving forward despite opposition among some U.S. lawmakers.

Boeing expects to start delivering jets to Iranian airlines in 2018, Muilenburg said.

Iran’s Kish Airlines has a deal for 10 Boeing 737 Max jets, while Iran Aseman Airlines wants to buy $3 billion worth of Boeing 737 Max jets made in Renton.

Airbus has already delivered three new aircraft to Iran Air in the past year.

(Photo: Airbus delivered this new A321 jet to Iran Air in January, AirBus)

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