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IAG Cargo Starts London-Tehran Service

The route will be served by a British Airways 777-200 aircraft, with belly-hold capacity for six pallets and up to 20 tons of lift on each flight
IAG Cargo is currently one of the only cargo carriers to directly connect Tehran and London.IAG Cargo is currently one of the only cargo carriers to directly connect Tehran and London.

Iran’s reintegration into the global economy is driving demand for air cargo, said IAG Cargo, which on Thursday launched six flights per week between Tehran and London. The route will be served by a British Airways 777-200 aircraft, with belly-hold capacity for six pallets and up to 20 tons of lift on each flight. IAG Cargo is currently one of the only cargo carriers to directly connect the two cities, Washington-based air logistics magazine Air Cargo World reported.

“With the second-largest economy in the MENA [Middle East and North Africa] region, Iran offers a huge opportunity for global trade,” said David Shepherd, IAG Cargo’s head of commerce. “The country’s predicted economic growth over the coming years means that connecting Iran via our London hub to the rest of the world will be of real benefit to our customers.”

Iran’s economy is expected to grow by 4.8% and 5.4% in 2016 and 2017, respectively, IAG noted.

In January 2016, the European Council lifted all nuclear-related economic and financial European Union sanctions against Iran, opening up Iran-EU routes for the  high-value cargo that IAG is looking to carry. The United States government, however, continues to impose restrictions that prevent most American corporations and citizens from trading with or investing in the Islamic Republic, complicating among others, a $25 billion Boeing deal.

IAG Cargo is the cargo handling division of International Airlines Group (IAG). IAG Cargo uses the freight capacity of its sister airline’s passenger flights and therefore maintains two global hubs located at London Heathrow and Madrid-Barajas Airport. It offers freight transportation to more than 350 destinations in over 80 countries.

The company was formed in April 2011 by the merger of British Airways World Cargo and Iberia Cargo. BMI Cargo was also integrated into the business following IAG’s purchase of British Midland International in April 2012. In that year the operations of British Airways World Cargo and Iberia Cargo had joint turnover of €1,217 million. They have a combined workforce of more than 2,400 people covering a global network of over 350 destinations.

  BA Launches 6 Flights a Week

Also on Thursday British Airways resumed direct flights to Tehran - the first UK carrier to fly to Iran for four years. Six return flights per week will operate between London Heathrow and Tehran, which BA described as “an important destination”, the BBC reported.

It follows the lifting of some sanctions against Iran in January and the reopening of the British Embassy in the Iranian capital in 2015.

BMI was the last UK airline to fly to Iran, but the service ended in 2012.

BA offered the first scheduled flights between London and Tehran in 1946. However, it ended its service - which at the time was provided by franchisee British Mediterranean Airways - in 2007. The flights were then operated by British Midland International (BMI), but services were suspended in 2012 as part of BMI’s integration into British Airways.

The British embassy in Iran reopened in August last year.

The BBC said BA’s decision to resume direct flights may help improve the UK’s relationship with Iran.

Air France resumed flying to Tehran in April after a seven-year break.

 

Financialtribune.com