US Sanctions Cause Another Airline’s Departure From Iran

Sep 4, 2018

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US sanctions on Iran continue to have a crippling effect on the country’s aviation market. Greek carrier Aegean has nixed its only flight to Iran, it announced Tuesday.

The airline will end all service between Athens (ATH) and Tehran (IKA) on October 11. Aegean flew an Airbus A320 three times a week to the Iranian capital.

Aegean joins Air Asia X, Air Astana, Air France, British Airways, Etihad Airways, KLM and Thai Airways in cancelling their Iran flights to Iran.

The Star Alliance carrier cites US sanctions that recently went into place and a second round that will take effect in November, which restrict banking and currency exchanges with Iran. The US said it will sanction any American or foreign company that continues to do business with Iran prompting airlines, hotels and other companies to cut ties with the country.

Passengers who have already purchased tickets for flights to Tehran that depart after October 11 can cancel them for a full refund, the airline said.

Airbus and Boeing have had to cancel billions of dollars of aircraft orders because of the sanctions — which Iran plans on suing the US for.

Alitalia, the Lufthansa Group, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Turkish Airlines still operate direct flights to Iran and have not yet announced plans to end the routes. 

“There’s no question that the economic sanctions that have been imposed on Iran are affecting its economy and limit some companies’ ability to do business there,” Henry Harteveld, founder of travel industry analysis firm Atmosphere Research Group, told the New York Times in August. “So I’m sure there’s been a sharp falloff in [airline] traffic both originating from Iran as well as traffic from Europe and other international points, including the U.S., going into Iran.”

H/T: Alex Macheras

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