Franco-Italian plane maker ATR (Avions de transport régional or Aerei da Trasporto Regionale) managed to deliver five aircraft to Iran Air on August 5, 2018, a mere day before new American sanctions take effect.


The Iranian flag carrier received the five turboprop 68-seats ATR 72-600s at Tehran-Merhabad airport (THR) where they will be based along previous eight that were delivered since May 2017.


The European manufacturer did not comment. Its request for an extended trade period with Iran was previously rejected by the United States.


The delivery of the five planes was secured by the French government. On July 31, 2018, French Minister of Finance and Economy Bruno Le Maire said in a interview to BFMTV he was “hopeful” ATR could deliver eight aircraft before August 6, 2018.


Like Airbus, ATR is subject to American sanctions as more than 10% of the parts composing its aircraft are “made in USA”. While ATR managed to deliver 13 of the 20 aircraft ordered by Iran Air, Airbus only delivered three out of a hundred (2 A330s and one A321).


As soon as new sanctions were announced, Boeing declared they would comply, giving up an order amounting to $20 billion.


The President of the United States Donald Trump announced on May 8, 2018 his intention to pull out from Iranian nuclear deal and to restore sanctions on Iran. The bans about to be enforced again concern the trade of oil, metal… and aviation. The decision will affect many companies of the aviation industry on both sides of the Atlantic, countering hundreds of aircraft sales - worth billions of dollars - to Iran.


Russian Sukhoi, which is also affected by the issue, announced it was working on a version of its Superjet 100 that could avoid the sanctions by relying on more indigenous parts. In April 2018, Sukhoi reached an agreement with Iran Air Tours and Aseman Airlines for twenty SSJ100Rs each.