The Unraveling of the Iran Deal Is Making KLM End Flights to Tehran

Jul 9, 2018

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Dutch carrier KLM, one of the few Western airlines flying to Iran, will end its flights to the country.

The airline announced on Saturday that it would be stopping its direct service from Amsterdam to Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport (IKA) due to a combination of “negative results and financial outlook for the Tehran operation,” KLM said in a statement.

Experts in the aviation industry are attributing the halt in service to the US pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, which US President Donald Trump exited in May. The growing difficulty of doing business in Iran as a consequence may be what pushed passenger numbers down on the route.

KLM had previously offered flights to Tehran until 2013. Its Tehran service resumed in 2016, after the nuclear accord was signed. KLM partner airline Air France also resumed flights from Paris CDG to IKA in 2016. As of now, those flights remain operational.

Air France flies to Tehran with its low-cost subsidiary, Joon. In May, it announced that Joon service to Tehran would only take place during the summer months, due to poor demand.

Several other European carriers still offer direct flights into Iran, including British Airways, Lufthansa, Austrian Airways and Alitalia. The bulk of Gulf carriers, including Emirates, Qatar Airways and Kuwait Airways, all still service Iran as well. Etihad ended operations to Iran in January.

The Iran nuclear deal lifted Western economic sanctions on the country, and in return, the nation reduced uranium enrichment in the development of nuclear weapons.

KLM’s last flight to Tehran will depart AMS on September 22 and return from IKA on September 23.


Featured image of a KLM Boeing 777 by Getty Images 

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