EghtesadOnline: Iran Air Show, the country’s ninth annual aviation event, concluded on Kish Island on Thursday. The four-day event was mostly focused on promoting domestic capabilities after the reimposition of US sanctions on Iran's aviation industry.
A group of 110 local and foreign companies took part in the event and showcased their latest products and services. An unfinished version of crewed spacecraft and the model version of an eight-seat airplane, both developed by Iran Space Agency, were among the top achievements of domestic firms showcased at the air show.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Defense Minister Amir Hatami said Iran is ready to mass-produce the Iran-made training army aircraft.
He noted that almost all the planes operated by domestic airlines are overhauled inside the country, according to Financial Tribune.
Ali Abedzadeh, the head of Iran Civil Aviation Organization, said Iran has devised plans to continue renovating its air fleet even under the sanctions.
“Sanctions are not a new challenge for us … We have learned how to deal with sanctions in the past 40 years and we are going to use our experience to manage the new ones,” ILNA quoted Abedzadeh as saying.
Sorena Sattari, vice president for science and technology, also attended the opening ceremony. During his speech, he called for giving more space to private sector and startups active in aviation industry, as he believes non-governmental players could help foster the industry.
The event also included aerobatics demonstrations of MiG-29, Sukhoi-23 and several other fighter aircraft.
Foreign participants were mostly from Russia and East European countries.
Plans to Continue Fleet Renewal Despite Sanctions
Iran Air is open to offers made by any planemaker that can sell airplanes to Iran without being obliged to obtain licenses from US Treasury’s Office for Foreign Assets Control, the CEO of Iran’s flag carrier said earlier this month.
“We will review any offer made by anyone who is capable of meeting our demand for new airplanes … We have held talks with Russia’s Sukhoi and other non-European planemakers,” Ministry of Roads and Urban Development's news service quoted Farzaneh Sharafbafi as saying.
The flag carrier hoped to make progress in its fleet renewal plans following the lifting of the sanctions against Iran in early 2016. Iran Air signed contracts shortly after the landmark nuclear deal for 80 Boeing jets, 100 Airbus jets and 20+20 ATR turboprops.
An Airbus A321, two Airbus A330s and 13 ATR 72-600 turboprops, five of which were delivered hours before the reimposition of the first batch of sanctions in August, have been delivered to Iran as part of the contracts.
The rest of the orders have been cancelled after OFAC revoked previously issued licenses allowing the sales of brand-new airplanes to Iran. This is while selling airplanes to Iran was among the issues directly addressed in the nuclear agreement.
The Russian company Sukhoi Civil Aircraft will get back to the issue of selling Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ100) jets to Iran after the share of US components in the plane sinks to less than 10%, the firm’s president, Alexander Rubtsov, said recently.
The two countries signed memorandums of understanding in April on the sale of 40 SSJ-100s by 2022 but the US decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran made it hard for Russia to obtain US-made components for the jets.
The SSJ100 is a twin-engine plane made by Russia's Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company. It can carry up to 98 passengers and fly at a distance of up to 2,470 miles. The jet made its maiden flight in May 2008.
The Russian planemaker has been pitching its products to Iranian airlines since sanctions were lifted against Tehran.
Iranian carriers had previously held talks with other planemakers, namely Japan’s Mitsubishi, Brazil’s Embraer and Canada’s Bombardier.
The Japanese planemaker halted negotiations with Iran quickly after the beginning of Donald Trump’s presidency, Iran Aseman Airlines told the Financial Tribune.
No progress has been made in Iranian carriers’ negotiations with the other two planemakers since Trump took office.