British Airways, Air France suspend flights to and from Tehran

British Airways on Thursday said it would suspend its London to Tehran service. (AFP/File Photo)
Updated 24 August 2018
0

British Airways, Air France suspend flights to and from Tehran

  • Airline said decision had nothing to do with Donald Trump's imposition of new sanctions on Iran
  • The airline said it was in discussions with partner airlines to offer customers rebooking options

LONDON: British Airways and Air France on Thursday said they would suspend flights to Tehran from next month for commercial reasons, as US sanctions against Iran start to bite.
"We are suspending our London to Tehran service as the operation is currently not commercially viable," BA said.
The last outbound flight to Tehran will be on Sept. 22, and the last inbound flight from Tehran will be on Sept. 23, it added.
The airline said the decision had nothing to do with US President Donald Trump's imposition of new sanctions on Iran, which has affected foreign businesses operating in the country, with many pulling out altogether.
Air France, which had run connections to the Iranian capital via its low-cost operator Joon, told AFP it would axe the route on Sept. 18, blaming "poor commercial viability."
The French carrier had already cut down on its Paris to Tehran connections from three a week to just one earlier this month.

Dutch carrier KLM, part of the same group as Air France, said last month that it was also suspending Tehran flights due to "negative results and financial outlook."
British Airways said it was in discussions with partner airlines to offer customers rebooking options, or would offer full refunds.

The Airlines are the latest European companies announcing they will halt services and projects in Iran after the US reimposed certain sanctions on Tehran this month. The sanctions also target any companies continuing to do business with Iran. In November, the US will reimpose canctions against Iran's energy sector.

Air France had resumed links to Tehran in April 2016 after the signing of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Lufthansa and Alitalia are among European companies still running flights to Iran despite the US announcement.
On Monday French oil giant Total announced that it had officially quit its multi-billion-dollar gas project in the country. German carmaker Daimler, Deutsche Telekom and Deutsche Bahn have also all pulled out.

Iran's top envoy to Britain said British Airways' decision to suspend flights to Tehran from September was regrettable.
"Considering the high demand ... the decision by the airliner is regrettable," Hamid Baeidinejad said on Twitter.


Ninth lawmaker quits Britain’s opposition Labour Party

Updated 34 min 10 sec ago
0

Ninth lawmaker quits Britain’s opposition Labour Party

  • Corbyn, a supporter of Palestinian rights and critic of the Israeli government, has previously been accused by some of failing to tackle anti-Semitism in the party. He denies the allegation

LONDON: British lawmaker Ian Austin resigned from the opposition Labour Party on Friday, the ninth person to do so this week, saying it was “broken” and had been taken over by the “hard left.”

Austin said he was appalled at the treatment of Jewish lawmakers who had taken a stand against anti-Semitism and that the “the party is tougher on the people complaining about anti-Semitism than it is on the anti-Semites.”

“The Labour Party has been my life, so this has been the hardest decision I have ever had to take, but I have to be honest and the truth is that I have become ashamed of the Labour Party under (leader) Jeremy Corbyn,” he told the Express and Star newspaper.

“I could never ask local people to make Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister.”

Corbyn has promised to drive anti-Semitism out of the party.

Austin said he did not currently have any plans to join The Independent Group in parliament, launched by seven of his former Labour colleagues on Monday and since joined by an eighth as well as three former members of the governing Conservatives.

A Labour lawmaker since 2005 and a former government minister, Austin supports Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal and is not in favor of holding a second referendum, putting him at odds with the other Independent Group members.