0117 GMT January 18, 2021
Iran's state airline, which has just reached an agreement with Boeing Co to purchase new jetliners, can resume flights in the EU, the European Commission said on Thursday, Reuters reported.
Iran is dangling the prospect of significant business for Western planemakers as it emerges from decades of sanctions.
While the European Commission, the EU's executive, said IranAir could resume flights, some of the carrier's aircraft would remain on the EU's safety blacklist.
"I am happy to announce that we are now also able to allow most aircraft from IranAir back into European skies," said EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc. The Commission said the decision followed a visit to Iran by the EU executive in April.
Previously, only the carrier's EU-manufactured Airbus planes could operate in the bloc, AFP added.
The commission also removed Indonesian budget carrier Lion Air, a major buyer of Airbus and Boeing jets, from its safety blacklist.
IranAir will be allowed to fly all of its planes in the EU except the Boeing 747-200s, Boeing 747SPs and Fokker 100s, the commission said.
Iran needs an estimated 400 jets to renew its fleet and prepare for projected growth, according to Iranian and Western estimates.
Iran has reached an agreement with Boeing for the supply of jetliners, reopening the country's skies to new US aircraft for the first time in decades.
The Iranian flag carrier also agreed in January to buy 118 jets worth $27 billion from Airbus and is discussing further orders with Boeing.
Iran’s aviation industry – among several other sectors – had been under a draconian regime of US-engineered sanctions for multiple years. The sanctions were lifted in January when a deal between Iran and the so-called P5+1 – the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany – came into effect. The deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – envisaged steps by Iran to restrict certain aspects of its nuclear energy activities in return for the removal of sanctions against the country.