AIRLINE INDUSTRY
Boeing to hold talks with Iranian airlines

Boeing said Friday that it had received a license from the United States to hold talks with airlines in Iran but that it would need additional U.S. approval to sell them jetliners.

“We have applied for and received a license to assess the current commercial passenger airplane needs of U.S. Government-approved Iranian airlines,” Boeing said in a statement. “The license permits us to engage approved airlines to determine their actual fleet requirements.”

The company said it received the license Thursday, nearly a month after European rival Airbus said Iran had agreed to buy 118 Airbus jets worth $27 billion at list prices.

The sales were made possible by the lifting of sanctions on Iran last month. The number and age of Airbus and Boeing aircraft in Iran show the potential for sales to upgrade those fleets.

Many of the Boeing planes date from the 1970s and 1980s. Iran has none of Boeing’s flagship wide-body model, the 777, raising the possibility of significant sales, analysts said. Iran continues to fly much older Boeing planes, including 11 747s that date from 1969 to 1988, according to Flightglobal, an online publisher of aviation and aerospace news.

Boeing faces numerous obstacles in making sales to Iran, including finding financial institutions to handle the transactions and making sure that the buyers are not linked to arms dealers or other entities that remain off-limits.

— Reuters

PRODUCT SAFETY
Regulators warn about hoverboards

The government is cracking down on hoverboards.

In a letter to manufacturers, importers and retailers, U.S. regulators said they will seize or recall any of the two-wheeled, self-balancing scooters — which were a huge hit over the holiday season — if they fail to meet federal safety standards.

In a letter issued Thursday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission noted 52 reports from users in 24 states of fires caused by hoverboards.

Those fires led to $2 million in property damage, including destruction of two homes and an automobile.

The agency said many of those incidents would not have occurred if the hoverboards met existing standards.

Concerns that lithium-ion batteries used in the hoverboards could spark fires have led to the banning of the devices by several airlines and college campuses.

— Associated Press

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— From news services