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

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.


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What We Are Reading Today: Walker Evans: Starting from Scratch by Svetlana Alpers

Walker Evans (1903–75) was a great American artist photographing people and places in the US in unforgettable ways. He is known for his work for the Farm Security Administration, addressing the Great Depression, but what he actually saw was the diversity of people and the damage of the long Civil War.
In Walker Evans, renowned art historian Svetlana Alpers explores how Evans made his distinctive photographs. Delving into a lavish selection of Evans’s work, Alpers uncovers rich parallels between his creative approach and those of numerous literary and cultural figures, locating Evans within the wide context of a truly international circle.
Alpers demonstrates that Evans’s practice relied on his camera choices and willingness to edit multiple versions of a shot, as well as his keen eye and his distant straight-on view of visual objects. Illustrating the vital role of Evans’s dual love of text and images, Alpers places his writings in conversation with his photographs. She brings his techniques into dialogue with the work of a global cast of important artists—from Flaubert and Baudelaire to Elizabeth Bishop and William Faulkner—underscoring how Evans’s travels abroad in such places as France and Cuba.