“Our main concern is being able to serve our passengers better ... We hope that the EU can get the OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) licenses for delivery of purchased Airbus planes,” Iran Air Chief Executive Farzaneh Sharafbafi said Monday, according to IRNA.
To upgrade its ageing fleet, Iran Air ordered 200 passenger aircraft – 100 from Airbus, 80 from Boeing and 20 from Franco-Italian turboprop maker ATR – after a 2015 nuclear deal was reached between Iran and six major powers. But the US Treasury revoked licenses for Boeing Company and France’s Airbus to sell commercial planes to Iran Air after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the agreement in May and reimposed sanctions.
Although Airbus is based in France, it must have the approval of the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to sell planes to Iran because at least 10 percent of the components of the aircraft are US-made.
“As OFAC licenses were issued for ATR planes ... the licenses for Airbus planes can be pursued by (the EU),” Sharafbafi said.
“So far, three Airbus aircraft have been delivered to Iran, but we want Airbus to deliver our aircraft according to the contract.”
Referring to a 57-year history of Iranian airline service, she said: “Despite the unjust sanctions, we have no worries about running the company and, thankfully, we have managed to achieve good success in areas of our expertise.”
Under a special agreement, after US licenses were revoked but before new sanctions came in force on Nov. 5, ATR delivered 13 of the 20 turboprop aircraft sought by Iran Air while the remainder remain on order.
Other signatories of the nuclear deal and the EU have remained committed to the pact and have been trying to salvage it.
Airbus, which delivered three aircraft before the licenses were withdrawn, continues to show the order as active on its books.
Boeing never officially added Iran’s order to its list of sold jets and has said it will not pursue the deal.
Reuters contributed to this story.