Iran says it expects to sign a new plane purchase deal with European aviation major ATR within the next few days.
“Representatives of ATR will come to Tehran this Wednesday to have a final round of talks,” Iran’s Deputy Transport Minister Asghar Fakhrieh-Kashan was quoted by the media as saying.
“The final version of the contract will be reviewed, and if there is no problem, it will be signed by both sides.”
Fakhrieh-Kashan added that the contract for 20 planes was worth $400 million, as reported by Reuters.
Iran's national flag carrier, Iran Air, signed a basic contract with ATR – which is co-owned by Airbus and Italy’s Leonardo Finmeccanica - in February to buy the light passenger planes from the France-based company.
The planes were reported at the time to be the twin-engine turboprop ATR 72-600 aircraft each capable of carrying 70 passengers.
Fakhrieh-Kashan further emphasized that five of the planes would be delivered to Iran by April.
He also added that all ATR aircraft would be used in domestic flight routes.
Iran signed contracts with Europe’s Airbus and American planemaker Boeing in December to purchase around 180 jets.
On the same front, reports emerged in Iran’s media on Sunday that the first installment of payments to Airbus will be made by the country’s Bank of Industry and Mine within the next days.
This, Iran’s Persian-language Jahan-e Eqtesad reported, would be carried out through a mechanism defined by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI).
The Iranian bank that will be in charge of payments to Boeing will be the Eghtesad Novin Bank, the daily added.