EghtesadOnline: The head of KLM Royal Dutch expects demand to and from Iran to increase, as Iran emerges from years of western-backed sanctions over its nuclear program.
“We clearly see with the new position of Iran on the world stage … the demand to and from Iran will increase and … we found now is a good opportunity and time to return to the market,” Pieter Elbers was quoted by Australia-based aviation information and analysis consultancy Center for Aviation as saying.
Elbers added that in the last two years, the Dutch flag carrier has embarked on a network strategy whereby it has added significantly more destinations than it did before, noting that by the end of 2016, the airline will have added 14 new destinations to its network.
Carrying a Dutch trade mission, headed by Minister of Infrastructure and Environment Melanie Schultz van Haegen, on board, a KLM flight landed in Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport on October 23 after a three-year hiatus.
As per the new schedule, four weekly services will be operated on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday between Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Tehran.
The flights are operated with a Boeing 777-200. KLM will meet passenger needs by offering three travel classes: 34 seats in World Business Class, 40 seats in Economy Comfort and 242 seats in Economy Class, according to Financial Tribune.
Previously, KLM operated flights to Tehran from July 1991 through April 2013. Including the new flights to Tehran, KLM now offers 37 flights to nine destinations in the Middle East.
The lifting of sanctions against Iran in January has turned the country into a new economic frontier and an emerging tourism market, catching the ttention of international airlines.