Sukhoi circles as Iran needs 500 planes

The Sukhoi passenger SSJ-100 plane prepares to take off. The Russian planemaker has been circling Iran. (Shutterstock)
Updated 12 December 2018

Sukhoi circles as Iran needs 500 planes

  • Sanctions mean Boeing and Airbus cannot sell planes to Tehran
  • Sukhoi reported to reduce number of US parts to win order

DUBAI: Iran needs some 500 planes and would likely back buying the Sukhoi Superjet 100 if Russia is willing to sell them to its airlines, Iranian news agencies reported the country’s top civil aviation official as saying on Wednesday.
Iran needs to upgrade its aging passenger fleet and is seeking to avert US sanctions on Tehran.
The US Treasury has revoked licenses for Boeing and Airbus to sell passenger jets to Iran after President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement in May and reimposed sanctions.
Most modern commercial planes have more than 10 percent in US parts, the threshold for needing US Treasury approval.
But Russian officials have been reported as saying Sukhoi is working on reducing the number of US parts in the hopes of winning an Iranian order for up to 100 aircraft.
“If the Iranian airlines want to use this aircraft (Superjet 100 ) and the seller is willing to sell it to Iran, the Civil Aviation Organization is ready to issue its final comment on this aircraft,” the semi-official Fars news agency quoted Ali Abedzadeh, head of the Civil Aviation Organization, as saying.
“But this aircraft has adhered to world standards and is flying currently, therefore there is no reason for us to reject it,” Abedzadeh told Fars.
Flag-carrier IranAir had ordered 200 passenger aircraft — 100 from Airbus, 80 from Boeing and 20 from Franco-Italian turboprop maker ATR before US licenses were revoked.
“The airlines have proposals for plane purchases and we are trying to devise regulations that will ease their aircraft imports. Considering Iran’s very large market, we need 500 planes now,” Abedzadeh was quoted as saying by the semi-official Tasnim news agency.


Saudi mall operator Arabian Centres bucks retail malaise as profits surge

Updated 21 August 2019

Saudi mall operator Arabian Centres bucks retail malaise as profits surge

  • Mall operator defies online shopping pressure by lowering discounts to tenants, boosting occupancy and rental revenues

LONDON: Arabian Centres, the Saudi mall operator which went public in May, said first-quarter consolidated net profit almost trebled to SR227 million ($60.53 million) as occupancy edged higher across its shopping centers. Revenues increased by about 2.5 percent over the year to SR572.5 million.

The results helped to propel the group’s shares 3 percent higher on Tuesday.

The group said that it boosted performance by offering lower discounts to its tenants which helped to drive rental revenues. Like-for-like occupancy across all malls increased  to 93.2 percent from 92.4 percent in the year earlier period. Finance costs fell by about 65 percent from a year earlier to SR73.9 million.

FASTFACT

 

27 - Arabian Centres plans to expand its mall portfolio to 27 within four years.

Retailers across the Middle East are coming under increased pressure as more consumers shop online, while at the same time, tourists are spending less in dollar-pegged economies because their purchasing power has been cut by the strength of the greenback. Still, in Saudi Arabia, the under-served retail market is expected to receive a boost from rising investment in the entertainment sector, especially new cinemas.

“Faced with the rising challenge of online shopping, the brick-and-mortar retail segment has sought to diversify its offering to secure its customer base, providing an increased range of leisure and entertainment facilities,” said Oxford Business Group, in a report analyzing emerging trends in the Saudi retail sector.

“The reintroduction of cinemas to the Kingdom in April last year ... is expected to increase retail footfall,” it said.

Arabian Centres, majority-owned by Fawaz Alhokair Group, listed its shares on the Tadawul stock exchange in May — the first to do so in the Kingdom under Rule 144a, allowing the sale of securities, mainly to qualified institutional buyers in the US.

The group aims to expand to 27 malls within four years.