LONDON (Reuters) - Aseman Airlines has signed a final deal to buy 30 Boeing 737 MAX jets in Iran’s first new business with the U.S. planemaker since President Donald Trump took office vowing to take a tougher stance toward the country.
Aseman and Boeing had signed a tentative deal in April. Iran’s state news agency IRNA reported that representatives of Aseman and Boeing signed the final agreement in the capital Tehran on Saturday.
“I am very pleased that after a year of negotiation with Boeing, the contract to buy 30 Boeing 737s was signed today,” Aseman CEO Hossein Alaei was quoted as saying by IRNA after the signing ceremony.
Owned by Iran’s civil service pension foundation but managed as a private company, Aseman is Iran’s third-largest airline by active fleet size, according to the CAPA consultancy.
Alaei said Aseman was ready to order another 30 of the same planes once the delivery of the first order was finished.
IRNA reported that the deal for 60 jets would be worth $3 billion, saying Aseman would pay 5 percent and seek financing for the rest.
Boeing has already agreed to sell 80 aircraft to flag carrier IranAir under a deal between Tehran and major powers that led to the lifting of most sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear technology development activities.
Trump has said he opposes the nuclear sanctions pact but has not stated a public view on the aircraft deals reached under the accord. The U.S. aerospace industry says they support Trump’s agenda for protecting U.S. manufacturing jobs.