DUBAI (Reuters) - An Airbus (AIR.PA) A330 airliner arrived in Tehran on Saturday, the third of 200 Western-built passenger aircraft ordered by IranAir following the lifting of sanctions on Iran last year.
The long-haul A330-200 landed at Tehran’s Mehrabad airport, the official news agency IRNA reported, as flag-carrier IranAir tries to renew its decaying fleet.
The aircraft joins another A330 and a smaller A321 delivered to Iran earlier this year by Airbus.
Airbus was not immediately available for comment.
Iran’s pragmatist president Hassan Rouhani’s success in ending international sanctions by reaching a deal with world powers has also intensified tensions ahead of May presidential elections with hardliners, who have criticized the deal for a lack of tangible economic benefits since sanctions were lifted.
Iran has ordered 100 airliners from European planemaker Airbus and 80 from Boeing (BA.N) and is in talks to finalize a deal to buy 20 turboprop aircraft from ATR, jointly owned by Airbus and Italy’s Leonardo Finmeccanica (LDOF.MI).
The country has not directly purchased a Western-built plane in nearly 40 years, the one exception being the sale of an Airbus to replace one shot down by the U.S. Navy in 1988.
Uncertainty remains over the timing of the rest of the orders as banks shy away from deals with Iran, fearing a “snapback” of international sanctions or U.S. fines if they are deemed to be breaking U.S. sanctions that remain in force.
Reporting by Dubai newsroom, Additional reporting by Tim Hepher in Paris; Editing by Mark Potter