Iran’s Deputy Transport Minister Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan said Tehran is in negotiation with European aircraft maker Airbus to purchase 45 helicopters for civilian use.
“The Health Ministry is planning to order 45 HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) helicopters and the purchase is being negotiated by the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development,” Fakhrieh Kashan said as quoted by Financial Tribune.
“Ports and Maritime Organization is also planning to hold a tender to purchase three search-and-rescue helicopters,” he added.
An Airbus Helicopters spokesman said, “We don’t comment on discussions we may or may not be having with potential customers”.
Iran has ordered more than 200 planes since anti-Tehran sanctions against the country were lifted last year following the implementation of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.
Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) reached the 159-page nuclear agreement in July 2015 and implemented it in January 2016.
Flag-carrier IranAir has ordered 100 planes from Airbus, 80 from US rival Boeing (BA.N) and 20 ATR turboprops, but implementing the deals has been hampered by uncertainty over financing.
In June, Airbus said two other Iranian airlines had committed to buying 73 planes in a last-minute flurry of deals for the aircraft manufacturer at the Paris Airshow.
Fakhrieh Kashan said Iran was holding negotiations to merge the helicopter order into the IranAir-Airbus contract signed in December, the report added.
(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)