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Tehran, Moscow close to deal to build airliners in Iran

Iran and Russia have reached a preliminary agreement on the joint production of Russian Tu-204 and Tu-214 medium-haul passenger airliners in the Islamic Republic, Fars agency said on Saturday citing a senior Iranian industry official.

“The manufacturing of Russia’s updated Tu-204 and Tu-214 passenger aircraft in Iran was put on the agenda after Russian experts studied the technological capabilities and human resources of the Iran Aviation Industries Organization,” Ali Akbar Ghazi Moradi, IAIO deputy executive director, said as quoted by the news agency. He said Russia and Iran were completing talks on the project to build 100 210-seat liners in the next 10 years for the Iranian aircraft fleet. He said the countries were also discussing the production of spare parts, test flights, and the construction of a maintenance center in the country. “The agreement between Iran and Russia will be signed in the near future,” Moradi said giving no other details.

Russian and Iranian officials earlier said the two countries planned to sign a $2.5 billion contract in 2009 for the delivery of 100 Tu-204 and Tu-214. Deliveries are to start in 2010. The Islamic Republic currently uses Tu-204, Tu-154, An-72, Yak-42 and other Russian built airplanes.

(The Moscow Times 23.vi.08)