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Lufthansa talks to Iran about contracts

(Reuters) — Lufthansa is in talks with Iran Air to provide catering, maintenance and pilot training services as it seeks to take advantage of emerging business opportunities in the country, according to executives at the German airline group on Wednesday.

Foreign companies have been vying for contracts in Iran since economic sanctions were lifted in 2016 in return for Tehran curbing its nuclear technology development projects.

“We are in very, very intense discussions, actually almost on a weekly basis,” Karsten Zang, Lufthansa’s regional director for the Gulf, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, said in Dubai.

Lufthansa Group subsidiaries LSG Sky Chefs, Lufthansa Technik and Lufthansa Pilot Training were seeking contracts with Iran Air, while the group was also in talks to provide services to other Iranian aviation firms, Zang told reporters.

Iran has signed orders for 200 new western-built aircraft for Iran Air, taking delivery so far of two new Airbus A330s and an A321.

“We are talking with Iran Air because their new aircraft are coming. They need training, of course, and we have the experience in all of these fields but we can’t give timelines,” he said.

However, the lifting of sanctions has not brought the economic boom to Iran that many foreign companies had been hoping for. Uncertainty over US President Donald Trump’s attitude to the nuclear deal while remaining sanctions limit international banking with Iran is seen as a deterrent to would-be investors.

The Trump administration said on Tuesday it was launching a review of whether lifting remaining sanctions against Iran was in U.S. national security interests, while acknowledging that Tehran was complying with the nuclear deal.


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