Deputy Transport Minister Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan says Iran has forgone plans to buy passenger planes from Japan’s Mitsubishi.
The official first confirmed back in July 2016 that Iran sought to buy over two dozen planes from the Japanese industrial giant.
Fakhrieh Kashan, however, said on Friday that “there is no chance of reaching an agreement with this company (Mitsubishi) at present and the purchase of aircraft from it is out of question.”
Mitsubishi Aircraft – the aviation arm of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries – began market surveys into Iran in September 2015, four months before sanctions were lifted on the Islamic Republic, according to Japan’s Nikkei newspaper.
The paper said at the time that flag carrier Iran Air was weighing to purchase 80 70-seat Mitsubishi Regional Jets and using them for domestic routes.
Last week, Iran received four ATR 72-600s as part of a deal with the French manufacturer to buy 20 passenger planes.
Iran Air finalized the deal with ATR last month for 20 twin-propeller aircraft worth $536 million at list prices, with an option to buy 20 more.
The country has also signed billion-dollar deals with Boeing and Airbus to replace and upgrade its commercial fleet.
Airbus delivered three of the 100 airliners ordered by Iran earlier this year, including two long-haul A330s and a smaller A321, but Boeing’s deliveries will not begin before 2018.
Fakhrieh Kashan said Iranian airlines continue their efforts to buy commercial jets from international manufacturers.
“Ministry of Transportation is trying to cooperate with the companies which are open to providing finance possibilities and pave the way for reaching final agreements,” he said.
Negotiations with other manufacturers for purchase of planes were also continuing, and there were “great hopes” that the talks would produce a final deal, Fakhrieh Kashan said, without specifying those companies.
Brazil’s Embraer, the world’s third largest maker of commercial, is said to be aiming to sell at least 20 of its E-195 jets to the Islamic Republic under a deal estimated to be over $1 billion.
Embraer said last November that it was awaiting a US license for the sale to Iran of sensitive jet engine technology in its planes.