27 AUGUST 2018
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Three of Europe’s largest carriers, British Airways, KLM and Air France through its subsidiary Joon, last week followed the reintroduction of US sanctions on Iran by saying they would end flights to Tehran next month.
The carriers did not mention the sanctions decision but blamed lack of demand and poor financial performance on routes that were reintroduced only two years ago after the Iran 2015 nuclear deal was agreed.
BA’s last flight to Tehran will be on 22 September, with the return service next day. The airline had resumed direct flights in September 2016. Air France is ending flights on 18 September after dropping the number of services on 1 August from three a week to one.
KLM, which has 11 flights a week between Amsterdam and Tehran, is following suit. European carriers continuing to operate include Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, which is owned by Lufthansa, and Germania.
Meanwhile, the EU announced on Friday it was giving €18m in aid to Iran to counter the sanctions, a move condemned by the US and Israel. The US State Department’s newly appointed special representative for Iran said the aid “sends the wrong message at the wrong time”.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Graham Stephenson, UK/Torquay
How can the EU give aid to Tehran when one of its citizens is being held, so unfairly, in prison. The release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe must be a pre condition.