Airbus delivery in Iran, IRAN
Airbus A321 in Iran.Reuters

Iran took delivery of its first western-built Airbus airliner on Wednesday, post the lifting of sanctions. The Airbus A321 landed in capital city Tehran and was received by Iranian Transport Minister Abbas Akhoundi. 

The brand new fleet of IranAir will eventually comprise 100 Airbus air planes and 80 planes from the Boeing brand.

Also read: Iran finalises deal to buy 100 aircraft from Airbus for $10 billion

The first IranAir plane took off from Toulouse (in France) and a passenger on-board included Airbus' chief Fabrice Bregier, BBC reported. The first landing in Tehran is symbolic of Iran's emergence from decades of isolation (during sanctions).

According to Iran's state TV, Thursday's landing was a historic moment for the Middle East nation, which also signals that the era of sanctions has ended for the country. "This is a prelude to the delivery of other aircraft and the renovation of Iran's ageing air fleet," BBC cited the local TV report as saying.

According to experts, the IranAir fleet is among the oldest fleet in the world and in order to keep flying (in the sanctions era), the airline had relied on smuggling aircraft parts into the country. 

It was reported last month that the state-run carrier of the Iranian republic, has agreed to buy 100 planes from Airbus in a deal valued at about $10 billion. The first delivery of seven to eight aircraft would be completed by 2017. The deal comprises purchase of both narrow-body and wide-body aircraft and will be formally sealed shortly.

Iran's 14 airlines, including state-owned IranAir, have a combined capacity to fly 22 million passengers every year, according to aviation research body Centre for Aviation. The country's other carriers include ATA Airlines, Atrak Air, Iran Aseman Airlines, Mahan Air, Meraj Airlines, Qeshm Airlines, Taban Air and Zagros Airlines.