EghtesadOnline: British Airways and Air France said on Thursday they will halt flights to Iran from September for business reasons, months after US President Donald Trump announced he would reimpose sanctions on Tehran.
British Airways said it was suspending its London to Tehran service “as the operation is currently not commercially viable”.
BA, which is owned by Spanish-registered IAG, said its last outbound flight from London to Tehran will be on Sept. 22 and the last inbound flight from Tehran will be on Sept. 23, Reuters reported.
Air France will stop flights from Paris to Tehran from Sept. 18 because of “the line’s weak performance”, an airline spokesman said, according to Financial Tribune.
“As the number of business customers flying to Iran has fallen, the connection is not profitable anymore,” the spokesman said.
German airline Lufthansa said it had no plans to stop flying to Tehran.
“We are closely monitoring the developments ... For the time being, Lufthansa will continue to fly to Tehran as scheduled and no changes are envisaged,” it said in an emailed statement.
The European Union has tried to keep an international deal on the Iranian nuclear program alive despite Trump’s decision in May to withdraw the United States from the agreement.
Some new US sanctions on Iran took effect this month.
A number of European companies have announced they are pulling out of projects or scrapping investment plans in Iran.
Air France is the French arm of Franco-Dutch airlines group Air France KLM. KLM, the group’s Dutch arm, had previously announced it was halting flights to Tehran.
The BA route was reinstated in the wake of the 2015 accord between western powers and Iran under which most international sanctions on Iran were lifted in return for curbs on the country’s nuclear program.
Air France had reopened the Paris-Tehran route in 2016.
Iran’s Ambassador to Britain Hamid Baeidinejad expressed regret at BA’s decision. “Considering the high demand ... the decision by the airline is regrettable,” Baeidinejad wrote on his official Twitter account.