Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA) won US approval to sell its 1st jetliners to Iran in almost 40 years, paving the way for the biggest business transaction between the two nations since the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the U.S. hostage crisis.
The US Treasury Department granted licenses to Boeing and Airbus Group SE (OTCMKT:EADSY) Wednesday for the 1st of a flurry of aircraft orders that Iran is counting on to upgrade an aging fleet.
Airbus won approval to export the 1st 17 jets in a $27-B transaction announced in January as economic sanctions were eased. Boeing is still finalizing terms to provide as many as 109 jets to Iran Air, the Chicago-based plane maker said in an e-Mailed statement.
“It removes some uncertainty,” an analyst at Jefferies, said of Boeing’s license. “It says that commerce is important and commerce builds bridges. It is also a pathfinder for other people that may want to do business with Iran over time.”
Boeing’s last airplane deliveries to Iran consisted of 747 jumbos that arrived in Y 1977, 2 years before the revolution, according to the company’s website.
The Islamic Republic’s flag carrier would add more of the iconic, 747s, as well as 777 and upgraded 777X wide-body jets under a $17.6-B order for 80 Boeing aircraft. The US manufacturer is also helping Iran Air line up another 29 planes from leasing companies.
“Any final sales agreement would have to adhere to the license we’ve been issued,” Mark Sklar, a spokesman for Boeing, said by e-Mail.
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