Tuesday, 15 May 2018

USA: Airbus And Boeing Stuck With Iran Orders, Trump Spoils Deals - As Iran Export Licenses Revoked

The immediate repercussions of President Trumps decision to pull out of the nuclear accord with Iran will see export licenses for Boeing and Airbus revoked according to Steve Mnuchin, U.S. Treasury secretary.

While based in Toulouse, France, Airbus is directly affected as over ten percent of its planes’ parts are manufactured in the U.S. by companies including United Technologies Corp., Rockwell Collins Inc. and General Electric Co., thus making the sale of any of its planes to Iran subject to U.S. export restrictions.

In total, the potential combined sales from the manufacturing duopoly were estimated at US$40 billion.

The consequences for both plane manufacturers will be different as they adopted different approaches to selling planes to Teheran.

In a conservative move, Boeing never closed its transaction with Iran Air, and downplayed the historic deal’s prospects after Trump took office.

More recently, Boeing had discretely approached other customers for some of the 777-300ER jetliners that had been intended for Iran Air in 2018.

Back on April 25 Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg told investors - We have no Iranian deliveries that are scheduled or a part of the skyline this year, so those have been deferred in line with the U.S. government processes, If those orders do come to fruition, if we do ultimately deliver airplanes, those represent opportunities for us.

Airbus were more aggressive, recording the sales in its order backlog and delivered three jets, while its ATR venture shipped eight turboprops.

Airbus has 95 undelivered planes intended for Iran Air in its backlog, including 16 crucial orders for the A350 wide-body jet whose program has been dogged with order cancelations, and 28 for its A330neo.

Another 12 smaller turboprops manufactured by ATR were also due to be delivered to Iran’s national flag carrier.

An Airbus spokesman said jobs would not be affected. Our order backlog stands at more than 7,100 aircraft, this translates into some nine years of production at current rates.

We’re carefully analyzing the announcement and will be evaluating next steps consistent with our internal policies and in full compliance with sanctions and export control regulations. This will take some time.

Two years ago, with the pace of aircraft orders slowing, Airbus and Boeing were eager to line up orders from Iranian airlines.

Both companies signed big deals with Iran Air during 2016. Agreements with smaller Iranian airlines followed.

The deal that Boeing eventually struck with Iran Air called for the carrier to buy 80 aircraft, consisting of 50 737 MAX 8s, 15 777-300ERs, and 15 777-9s.
In 2017, Iran Aseman Airlines signed a letter of intent for 30 737 MAX planes, bringing Boeing's total orders from Iran to 110 aircraft.

However, Boeing never received licenses from the U.S. government that would allow it to export aircraft to Iran, and so it never included these deals in its firm order book.

Boeing never formally booked any of its orders from Iran-based airlines.

Boeing doesn't need orders from Iran for the popular 737 family, which had 4,673 firm orders as of the end of April. This translates to about seven years of production.

The potential 777 orders from Iran Air were far more valuable. Nevertheless, Boeing has been able to sell out its delivery slots for the next couple of years without relying on deliveries to Iran Air.

Just last week, Boeing sold another four current-generation 777s to Lufthansa Group.

Like Boeing, Airbus doesn't need the narrowbody orders it received from Iran.

The A320 family has an even bigger backlog than Boeing's 737 family.

Airbus is in a much more precarious situation with respect to widebodies.

Iran Air ordered more than 50 widebodies from Airbus, all of which were included in the plane maker's firm order book.

The carrier currently has outstanding orders for eight A330-200s, 28 A330-900neos, and 16 A350-1000s all of which will have to be canceled because Airbus planes use a high volume of American made components.

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