Iran in talks to renew direct flights to US

Iran in talks to renew direct flights to US

Tehran purchases 114 Airbus jets to upgrade civilian fleets, negotiating with European airports for refueling rights

File: Illustrative photo of an Iran Air Boeing 747 passenger plane. (CC BY-SA/Wikimedia/Mike P)
File: Illustrative photo of an Iran Air Boeing 747 passenger plane. (CC BY-SA/Wikimedia/Mike P)

Iran is hoping to renew direct flights from Iran to the US, the head of Iran Air said Sunday.

“Iran Civil Aviation Organization is conducting talks on direct flights between Iran and the US,” Farhad Parvaresh, Chairman and Managing Director of Iran Air, said, according to Iran’s Mehr news agency. He added that “daily flights to New York used to take place before the Islamic Revolution and they will hopefully get resumed in near future.”

Referring to Iran’s recent purchase of 114 Airbus jets to upgrade and expand its ageing fleet, Parvaresh said talks with manufacturing companies had commenced when talks on a nuclear deal began.

That deal was eventually sealed earlier this month and all nuclear sanctions were lifted by the UN, the EU and the US.

European regulators have banned all but 12 of Iran Air’s fleet from European Union airspace because the airline has not proven that it meets international safety standards, the BBC reported Sunday.

Iran is currently negotiating with airport fuel companies in Western Europe to allow Iranian aircraft to refuel wherever and whenever needed, Parvaresh said.

During the period of sanctions imposed on Iran for its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, Iranian planes had to load sufficient fuel for outbound flights and part of return flights, often stopping in eastern Europe to fill up even if it meant diversions, the Iran air boss said. Fuel costs per flight had amounted to $15,000 to $17,000.

The issue had already been resolved at airports at London’s Heathrow, Amsterdam, Hamburg and Vienna and talks were being held with others, he said.

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