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British Airways to end direct flights to Iran in September

August 23, 2018

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — British Airways says it will end its direct flights to Iran’s capital in September as “the operation is currently not commercially viable.”

The decision announced Thursday comes after President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers and began restoring U.S. sanctions.

Air France said it would end flights from Paris to Tehran on Sept. 18.

British Airways said its last flight to Tehran will be Sept. 22, with the return on Sept. 23. The airline had resumed direct flights to Tehran in September 2016. Service was suspended in October 2012 as relations deteriorated between Britain and Iran.

Britain was among the world powers that struck the 2015 atomic accord. It, along with other European nations, have said they want to protect companies that continue doing business in Iran, but many have pulled out since Trump’s May decision.

Air France is ending Paris-to-Tehran flights on Sept. 18, after dropping the number of flights from three per week to one on Aug. 1. The carrier started flying to Tehran in April 2016, but saw a downturn this year despite the fact that in April it began using its new, lower cost brand Joon to make the trip, said press officer Cedric Landais.

Passengers representing the automobile, energy and nuclear sectors “weren’t on our flights,” he said, and tourism alone was not sufficient to keep Air France on the Paris-Tehran route, where business class tickets turn a profit.

Landais said he could not cite a reason, including U.S. sanctions, for the downturn. “Air France isn’t into politics,” he said while noting there is a “geopolitical environment” at play when it comes to determining routes.

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