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Iran Air Will Fly to Rome After Mahan Air Ban

After Mahan Air’s ban from Italian airspace, Iran Air has decided to fill the gap. Beginning on December 2nd, Iran Air will operate the Tehran to Rome flights, providing a vital service between the two capitals.

Why Mahan Air Has Been Banned

Mahan Air has had a slew of bad news over the years. Starting in 2011, the US placed sanctions and restrictions on the airline after making accusations that it was financing Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and transporting troops and military equipment to the Middle East.

These sanctions were eased by the Obama administration after Iran agreed to reduce its nuclear program. However, the Trump administration backed out of this “nuclear deal” in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions, with France and Germany following suit soon after. Both Europeans nations have banned Mahan Air from their airspace.

More recently, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, seemed to have pressured the Italian government into banning Mahan Air’s service into the country. Maqsoud Asadi-Samani, secretary of the Association of Iranian Airlines confirmed this, stating, “Along with their pressure on our country, the Americans have pressed Italy to stop Mahan Air flights to Roma and Milan.”

According to Italy’s air authority, ENAC, Mahan Air will continue flights until December 15th. They said in a statement, “Iranian company Mahan Air is authorized to operate until 15 December to re-protect passengers with flights already booked.” They also provided the following statement, “The National Civil Aviation Authority reports that the programs presented by the Iranian airline Mahan Air for the IATA Winter 2019-2020 traffic season (ending 28 March 2020) have been authorized by ENAC only for a limited period of time, until December 15, 2019, for the purpose of re-booking the passengers who purchased the tickets sold in the past few months by the company.”

Iran Air’s Italy Flights

To help Iranian’s living abroad, Iran Air will operate the Tehran to Rome flight in Mahan Air’s place. The flight will run on Mondays and Thursdays, while their regularly scheduled Tehran to Milan flight will continue to run on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Although Iran Air can continue to fly in Italian airspace, the reinstated sanctions forced them to cancel a large order of new aircraft from both Boeing and Airbus. The airline has no choice but to continue to use old and outdated aircraft, such as the A300. The industry is curious to see how long Iran Air aircraft will continue to fly safely.


[Image: Flickr/smitty42]


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