Officials in Iran say they are planning to purchase 500 new aircraft as the country attempts to rejoin global aviation networks. Some of those jets could be used for the country’s first direct to the US flights in 36 years.
Iran has faced years of sanctions which have claimed a heavy toll on its aviation industry. With those restrictions now lifted, Iran is looking to purchase new aircraft from Boeing and Airbus.
The country is calling for 100 short range aircraft for domestic flights, along with a fleet of 400 aimed at the mid-to-long-range markets.
Officials in the country say they will be able to compete with global providers in 5 to 7 years.
Iran and Airbus have reportedly agreed in principle for the sale of 114 aircraft. The two are not commenting on that potential deal at this time.
Iran banned flights to the US following the Islamic Revolution in 1979 when the country’s western-backed monarchy was overthrown.
“Iran Civil Aviation Organization is conducting talks on direct flight between Iran and the U.S.,” state news agency IRNA quoted Iran Air chairman Farhad Parvaresh as saying. “Daily flights to New York used to take place before the Islamic Revolution, and they will hopefully get resumed in the near future.”
Establishing economic ties is crucial to Iran. The country’s economy fell by an estimated 90% after sanctions cut off its ability to legally sell oil to most of the world. Crashing oil prices are now hurting the country as it prepares to re-enter the global oil supply chain.