Saying that if Airbus can sell to Iran, Bombardier should be as well, the Canadian government announced that it plans to lift its sanctions on Iran. The process of lifting the sanctions and allowing Iran to order from Bombardier looks rather hurried.
This is fortunate for Bombardier since the firm could win some business in Iran, for which discussion are already underway with Iran Air. Iranian airlines have talked up their fleet shopping lists to 500 aircraft. That is enough to allow every OEM to get a good slice of the cake. Moreover, given existing backlogs and scarce delivery positions, Iran has to buy from everyone to get new aircraft in a reasonably short time frame.
As we have written a number of times last year, Iran is the big news in 2016 with respect to orders. However even as the Iran fleet requirement is big, it has few options in terms of new equipment. Initial reports are that Airbus will start with A340 deliveries as an interim before new aircraft can be delivered. Airbus has not announced anything, but Iran is even talking of eight A380s. Once can only imagine the pleasure in Toulouse.
This does not mean that Boeing hasn’t got a few tricks up its sleeve. Iran’s return to the market comes at an excellent time for Boeing. Iran needs a lot of long haul aircraft and Boeing’s 777 needs customers. A perfect match right there. Boeing could deliver 777s at the speed Iran would like and this will be a significant advantage.
Which brings us back to Bombardier (and even Embraer and ATR). The small duopoly stands to win big time with any jet aircraft under 150 seats. Once again a primary issue will be deliveries. Iran no doubt will be looking at how quickly they can acquire new builds, and may also be in the market for some 50 seaters to replace.
The move by the new Canadian government is helpful to Bombardier. But Iran still holds all the cards in terms of a competitive bidding process, and will play them accordingly.