Airbus SAS has made the first aircraft delivery to Iran Air under the “landmark” contract announced late last year. The A330-200 was delivered at the Airbus delivery center in Toulouse, France, representing the first of 54 wide-body jets to be supplied under the contract.
The A330 series are twin-engine aircraft for medium- to long-range service, with a range of 3,100 to 8,350 miles (5,000-13,430 km), carrying up to 335 passengers or 70 metric tons of cargo. Iran Air’s A330-200 is configured as a two-class cabin, seating 32 passengers in business class and 206 in economy class.
The overall contract calls for Iran Air to receive 100 aircraft (46 from the A320 narrow-body series, 38 A330 wide-bodies, and 16 A350 XWBs) and reportedly is worth more than $18 billion to Airbus.
The order first emerged in January 2016 upon the announcement that the European Union and the United States had withdrawn sanctions on oil, aerospace, and other commercial trading by Iran, in exchange for that country resolving to end its nuclear research program. The deal also included the release of about $100 billion of the Islamic republic’s frozen assets — clearing the way for large industrials like Airbus to secure new orders.
Iran Air, which has undertaken an extensive fleet-renewal effort, also placed orders with Rolls-Royce Plc for jet engines to power the A330 and A350 XWB aircraft.
And, like rival Airbus, Boeing Commercial Airplanes drew a contract worth a reported $16.6 billion to supply 80 aircraft to Iran Air.
The Airbus contract also calls for the OEM to provide pilot and maintenance training, and support for Iran Air’s development of air navigation services (ATM), airport and aircraft operations, and regulatory harmonization.