The logo of the new Joon lower-cost airline is pictured on a plane scale model during a news conference in Paris, France, on Sept. 25, 2017. (File Photo)
The logo of the new Joon lower-cost airline is pictured on a plane scale model during a news conference in Paris, France, on Sept. 25, 2017. (File Photo)

Air France Cuts Back on Iran Flights

Air France Cuts Back on Iran Flights

Air France is cutting its Joon subsidiary’s service between Paris and Tehran to the summer season only, blaming a poor economic performance over two years in operation.
“Air France has decided to adapt its program to better match demand,” a spokeswoman said by email, adding that the decision would take effect from Oct. 28, Reuters reported.
Meanwhile, Qatar Airways said demand for travel to Iran remained strong.
“We fly to Iran with a lot of frequencies. We go to three destinations in Iran,” Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker told Reuters at an event in Wales.
Qatar has maintained aviation links with Iran during a separate political dispute between Qatar and its neighbors on the Arab side of the Persian Gulf.
Asked if Qatar Airways had seen business suffer due to uncertainty over the nuclear pact, Al Baker said, “Not at all. Iran is a big market ... of more than 90 million people: educated, very aggressive travelers and we are serving that market very successfully. We don’t get involved in politics. We are an airline.”
Flight schedule data from database firm OAG suggest that airlines flying to Iran from Britain, France, Germany and Turkey believe that demand on Iranian routes peaked last year.
According to the data, there were 6,281 scheduled one-way flights to Iran from those countries in the summer of 2017, compared to 5,594 planned for summer 2018.
That is, nonetheless, higher than 4,666 in the summer of 2015, about six months before the nuclear pact came into effect.
In January, Air France said it was shifting Tehran services from its main network to its recently launched Joon subsidiary as part of a wider restructuring and rebranding.
Joon offers some business-class seats although it is mainly aimed at younger travelers with money to spend rather than at traditional business travelers.
Air France said it would handle the re-booking of flights for customers affected by the change.
Air France’s decision follows a similar one in December by Etihad Airways, which had also said it would scrap flights to Iran and Uganda.

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