Iran's 100 jet deal with Airbus to be signed in days as A380s are dropped

 
Rebecca Smith
Airbus announced production of its A380 superjumbo will be cut earlier this year
Airbus announced production of its A380 superjumbo will be cut earlier this year (Source: Getty)

The deal is very nearly done.

Iran has finalised an agreement with Airbus to acquire 100 jetliners, a senior official said today.

It will be signed in the coming days, deputy roads and urban development minister Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan said.

"We have finalised negotiations with Airbus and any day we will be able to sign the deal in Tehran," he said. "We are expecting some final clearances and expect to sign today or tomorrow."

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A spokesperson for Airbus said discussions were "still underway" before an agreement is signed.

The arrangement will be around half and half of narrow-body and wide-body aircraft. Airbus will supply four types of aircraft: its medium-haul A320 and A321 aircraft as well as the long-haul A330 and A350, which also confirmed Iran's decision to drop the A380 superjumbo from a draft deal signed back in January.

The original agreement for 118 jets has been shrunk somewhat as a result, though that wasn't a concrete contract.

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In July, Airbus announced that production of its superjumbo will be cut by more than half - to a plane a month by 2018, as demand peters out. Emirates still gives prominence to the aircraft, but it's becoming an increasingly lonely carrier on that front as twin-engine jets have proved popular elsewhere.

Iran is revamping the ageing fleet of its flag carrier IranAir, following the lifting of international sanctions, and has been an untapped market for plane makers, leaving Airbus and big rival Boeing to compete for orders.

Last week, the country finalised a parallel deal with Boeing for 80 jets.

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