Iran’s government has announced that it plans to purchase a number of passenger aircraft from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
The country intends to buy 20 of the company’s Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) aircraft.
The looming purchase was announced by Iranian Deputy Minister of Road and Urban Development, Asghar Fakhriyeh Kashan.
Reportedly, the MRJs will be acquired with a lease-purchase contract and are intended to be used by local carrier Aseman Airlines for domestic routes.
Should it go ahead, it would be the most recent in a number of large aircraft purchases for Iran, now unshackled from international sanctions.
Already the country has placed massive orders with Airbus and Boeing for more than 100 aircraft from each company, worth in total over $50bn
The MRJ is the product of Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation, a partnership between majority owner Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and fellow Japanese company Toyota Motor Corporation.
The aircraft themselves are short-haul passenger jets able to fly between 1,880 km and 3,770km depending on the specific model which Iran intends to purchase.
Each aircraft can carry between 70-90 passengers, again dependent on seating configuration and the type of aircraft purchased.
Currently there is no information on how much Iran is paying for these craft or indeed when the deal with be finalised.
Asghar Fakhriyeh Kashan did confirm however that the Japanese company was receptive to the deal and that a working group to discuss the sale would be established by December this year.
Mitsubishi will take years to deliver
If the deal is finalised in December it would still be some time before Iran received any of its ordered aircraft.
Mitsubishi’s MRJ program has faced numerous delays over its development since 2007 with the first prototype not being unveiled until 2014, and not flown until late last year.
Furthermore, the company already has over 200 aircraft on order before any hypothetical deal with Iran, and the first of these ordered aircraft is not expected to be delivered until mid 2018.