Iranian officials are preparing for a visit by a delegation from U.S.-based aircraft maker Boeing Co. to review “possible cooperation” with Iranian airlines, the country’s official IRNA news agency said Saturday.
Officials from Iran’s national carrier, Iran Air, and other Iranian airlines will meet the Boeing delegation, the IRNA report said.
In March, Ali Abedzadeh, the head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization, said that Iran will likely sign an agreement to buy airplanes from Boeing, a claim refuted by the company, which has insisted that it will discuss fleet-planning options with Iranian officials on the visit.
Iran Air has already signed agreements to buy 118 planes from the European aircraft maker Airbus and 20 more from French-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR in March.
Boeing currently has a license from the U.S. to hold talks with airlines in Iran about buying jetliners. But the company said in February that it would need additional U.S. approval to make sales, Reuters reported.
Iran, the second-largest Middle Eastern economy, has a fleet of 94 aging Boeing and McDouglas planes dating from 1970s and 1980s. The country has sought to renew business ties with the rest of the world this year after a landmark agreement between Iran and the U.S ended its alleged nuclear weapons program in exchange for easing of sanctions.