Fri Apr 21, 2017 09:03AM
Abbas Akhoundi, Iran’s minister of roads and urban development.
Abbas Akhoundi, Iran’s minister of roads and urban development.

Only days after Iran signed an agreement to purchase medium-range twin-propeller aircraft from European aviation player ATR, the country says the planes will be used for flights to small airports.

Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi was quoted by the domestic media as saying that providing planes to small airports was an important concern for his Ministry. 

Akhoundi added that the agreement with ATR had been devised to the same effect.

He added that providing small- to medium-range planes manufactured by the same company played a central role in the government’s plan to rejuvenate Iran’s air transportation fleet.

Akhoundi further emphasized that ATR will start to deliver the planes that Iran has purchased within the next few weeks.

He also stressed that Iran would take delivery of all the planes within the next two years and that they would be provided to all small airports across the country. 

Last Thursday, Iran’s national flag carrier airline Iran Air finalized an agreement with ATR to buy 20 planes from the company. 

The planes – all ATR 72-600 – would be twin-propeller aircraft that can carry 70 passengers.

Iran Air Managing Director Farhad Parvaresh told reporters in Tehran that at least four ATR planes would be delivered to Iran Air within the next month, adding that five more would also be delivered by the end of 2017.

He added that his company had an option to purchase another 20 planes from the French-Italian company. 

Parvaresh did not disclose the value of the deal, but reports say it could be worth $536 million at list prices.