TEHRAN - A first Airbus aircraft arrived in Iran on Thursday as part of a huge order placed after the lifting of international sanctions on the Islamic republic.

The plane to be used for internal flights landed at Tehran’s Mehrabad airport.

Iran Air chief executive officer Farhad Parvaresh has said the airline expects to receive several more planes before the end of the Iranian year on March 20.

The carrier completed a huge deal for 100 Airbus planes with a list price of around $20 billion (19 billion euros) on December 22. Iran had committed to the agreement during a visit to Paris by President Hassan Rouhani in January 2015 shortly after international sanctions were lifted under a landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

But it required approval from Washington as some parts are manufactured in the United States.

The jets will bolster Iran’s ageing passenger fleet with the addition of 46 A320 planes for medium-haul routes, 38 long-haul A330s and 16 A350s.

In another deal in December, Iran Air finalised an order for 80 planes from Airbus’s US competitor Boeing.

Boeing said that contract - Iran’s first deal with a US aviation firm since the 1979 Islamic revolution - was worth $16.6 billion.

Iran projects a demand for between 400 and 500 new commercial airliners over the next decade.