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While everyone expected that the lifting of nuclear sanctions against Iran would unleash a flurry of deal-making, the scale of the ambitions laid out by flag-carrier Iran Air in January took many observers by surprise.
Within a fortnight of the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – an international agreement that lifts sweeping embargoes against the country – Transport Minister Abbas Akhoundi had announced a heads-of-agreement between Iran Air and Airbus for 118 aircraft. A parallel deal with ATR covered up to 40 turboprops for the flag-carrier.
In June, yet another memorandum to buy 80 aircraft from Boeing brought Iran Air’s provisional orderbook to a jaw-dropping 238 planes – nearly ten times the number it deploys today...