Two Iranian airlines plan to buy 73 Airbus jets

PARIS (Reuters) - Airbus said on Thursday two Iranian airlines had committed to buying 73 planes in a last-minute flurry of deals for the European planemaker at the Paris Airshow.

An Airbus A350-1000 Xwb is seen on static display during the 52nd Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France, June 22, 2017. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

Iranian domestic carrier Zagros Airlines signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to buy 20 Airbus AIR.PA A320neo jets and eight A330neo aircraft, while privatized Iran Airtour signed an MoU for 45 A320neos.

Iran has ordered more than 200 planes since international sanctions against the country were lifted last year in return for curbs on the country’s nuclear activities.

IranAir has ordered 100 planes from Airbus, 80 from U.S. rival Boeing BA.N and 20 ATR turboprops but implementing the deals has been hampered by uncertainty over financing.

Boeing has also signed a deal for 30 737 MAX jets with Iran’s Aseman Airlines, which is managed as a private company and owned by Iran’s civil service pension foundation.

Iran Airtour was established as a subsidiary of IranAir and privatized in 2011 but maintains a status as subsidiary of the national flag carrier, according to CAPA aviation consultancy.

Zagros Airlines is a private carrier.

Airbus Chief Operating Officer and planemaking president Fabrice Bregier said he did not believe the deals were related to political issues.

The company said the MoUs were contingent upon all necessary approvals, including from the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. Airbus sales chief John Leahy said he expected the U.S. approvals within the next couple of months.

Airbus said it would continue to act in full compliance with the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action, and associated rules.

Additional reporting by Parisa Hafezi and Sudip Kar-Gupta; editing by David Clarke