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Iran Air Finalizes Purchase Of 100 Airbus Planes Worth $18 Billion

Iran Air's fleet of passenger planes is aging.

Airbus and Iran Air have finalized a deal for 100 planes worth $18 billion in a boost for an Iranian economy hobbled by years of sanctions.

Airbus said on December 22 that deliveries will begin early next year. The contract includes single-aisle A320 and A330 jets and wide-body A350 XWB planes.

In addition to providing the planes at a steep discount, Airbus is to help Iran Air with pilot training and assist with airport operations and air-traffic management.

Iran's flagship carrier finalized a deal for 80 jetliners from U.S. plane maker Boeing -- Airbus' main rival -- earlier this month.

Both deals were made possible by the nuclear accord Iran negotiated last year with world powers, enabling them to lift sanctions in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear activities.

"We hope this success signals to the world that the commercial goals of Iran and its counterparts are better achieved with international cooperation and collaboration," Iran Air Chairman Farhad Parvarsh said.

Most of Iran's aging fleet of 250 commercial planes was purchased before the 1979 revolution and only about 162 are still in operating condition. Iran says it intends to buy 400 new planes over the next decade.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters