People, Travel

BA Resumes Tehran Flights

The first BA flight in 4 years touched down at IKIA on Friday morning.The first BA flight in 4 years touched down at IKIA on Friday morning.

British Airways has resumed direct flights to Iran after a nearly four-year suspension following the lifting of sanctions on the country.

Describing Tehran as “an important destination” for the airline, BA will operate six return flights per week between London Heathrow and the Iranian capital, rising to a daily service later this year.

The service was suspended in October 2012 amid instability in the Middle Eastern country.

In January, sanctions were lifted against Iran after the international nuclear watchdog said the Tehran government had met all its obligations under a deal with six world powers.

At the time, then-foreign secretary Philip Hammond said British companies should take advantage of the new opportunity as relations with Iran thawed.

The first BA flight to Iran, a Boeing 777, departed from Heathrow on Thursday at 9.10 pm local time and landed in Tehran on Friday 5 hours and 45 minutes later, at 6.13 a.m. local time.

Flights had been expected to resume in July, but were delayed while the route was established.

Sky News quoted a spokeswoman for BA as saying: “The Iranians have been extremely helpful in setting up this important new route and have been as keen as we are for the service to start.

“Tehran is an important destination for British Airways and we wanted to ensure that the service we offered met the highest standards our customers rightly expect of us from day one.”

Air France resumed flights between Paris and Tehran in April after an eight-year hiatus, while KLM is set to launch direct flights next month.