Domestic Economy

Need for 400 Passenger Planes Over 10 Years

Need for 400 Passenger Planes Over 10 YearsNeed for 400 Passenger Planes Over 10 Years

Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi said Iran needs to buy 400 passenger planes worth about $20 billion over the next 10 years, speaking on the sidelines of the International Paris Air Show 2015 on Tuesday.

“The average age of Iran’s air fleet is 20 years,” said Akhoundi, stressing that the country’s aging air fleet could be “out of service” within the next 10 years.

Addressing a conference at the International Diplomatic Academy in Paris, Akhoundi said there was about $80 billion worth of business up for grabs in Iran’s transport sector, but warned France it risked missing out unless it changed its stance toward Tehran, IRNA reported.

France is one of six world powers negotiating with Iran over its nuclear energy program and has been one of the toughest in pressing for restrictions against Iran, according to Reuters.

All sides are seeking a final deal by June 30 that is expected to be accompanied by the lifting of anti-Iran sanctions, meaning the country could soon collect dues from overseas banks exceeding $100 billion.

Akhoundi said potential investment in the transport sector includes $25 billion for improving rail infrastructure and $30 billion for roads and motorways.

The minister’s three-day visit to Paris at the official invitation of the French Ministry of Transport is aimed at negotiating with international aviation companies the acquisition of new aircraft as well as attracting foreign investment to Iran’s aviation projects.

The 51st International Paris Air Show organized by the French Aerospace Industries Association from June 15 to 21 brings together major players in the global aviation industry, with focus on the latest technological innovations.

  Call for Foreign Investments

According to Akhoundi, there has been a lack of foreign investment in Iran’s aviation industry over the past decade.

Iran is keen to attract foreign investments for the development of airports and passenger terminals.

“Currently nine new passenger terminals with a total capacity of 50,000 passengers are under construction across the country,” he said.

Akhoundi stressed the importance of air traffic control systems, adding that Paris Air Show provides a suitable platform for learning about the latest technological achievements in this regard.

“The global aviation industry has advanced significantly in terms of navigation systems. However, Iran’s aviation industry has failed to keep pace,” he said.

As part of his visit to Paris, the Iranian minister has been holding talks with executives from French firms, including Thales and the European plane-maker Airbus.