“Not Commercially Viable” – British Airways, Air France, KLM Axe Flights To Iran

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Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

British Airways announced Thursday it plans to stop service to Tehran after its last scheduled flight on September 22.

A British Airways (BA) spokesperson announced the move, which comes after the latest round US sanctions went into effect against Iran this month: “We are suspending our London to Tehran service as the operation is currently not commercially viable.”

"Not Commercially Viable" - British Airways, Air France, KLM Axe Flights To Iran

Tehran, Iran. Via Business Traveler

“We are sorry for any disruption this may cause to our customers’ travel plans and we are in discussions with our partner airlines to offer customers rebooking options,” the airline said further. “Alternatively, they will be offered a full refund or the opportunity to bring their flights forward,” the BA representative said.

BA London to Tehran service was re-launched in September 2016 after a four-year absence due to worsening British-Iran relations, and now with the return of tensions over Washington’s pullout of the Iran nuclear deal last May, it appears the airline’s forward bookings have taken a significant hit.

Earlier this month the US warned Britain that it must back the Trump White House’s tough stance on Iran or “face serious trade consequences”.

"Not Commercially Viable" - British Airways, Air France, KLM Axe Flights To Iran

Meanwhile Air France and KLM have also announced the cancellation all flights to Tehran, with the last Air France flight on Sept. 18. Air France had already drastically cut its operations to Iran as it transferred all connections to its low-cost airline Joon this summer, and was down to one flight per week from the prior usual of three.

And Dutch airline KLM had previously announced last month the suspension of all flights from Amsterdam, set to also take place in September.

They join a growing list of other major firms that have recently curbed or halted business in Iran include French energy giant Total, Germany’s Siemens, French and German automotive manufacturers PSA and Daimler, the world’s largest shipping firm Maersk, French aircraft manufacturer Airbus, Germany’s engineering and rail consortium Deutsche Bank, as well as the German insurer Allianz..

* * *

On August 7 the US imposed Phase 1 of a series of sanctions against Iran.

At a glance, these cover:

  • Auto industry: Carmakers who also operate in the US market must pull out of Iran, currently the world’s 12th-largest car market.
  • Gold and precious metals: Ban on selling these substances to Iran, which will cause difficulty for the country’s investors looking to safeguard their wealth against the falling rial.
  • US banknotes: Stepping up pressure on Iran’s central bank as it attempts to stabilise its currency.
  • Aviation: Cancellation of US sales of civil aviation planes and parts to upgrade Iran’s ageing commercial fleet.
  • Other key industries: Ban on US imports of Iranian carpets, pistachios and farmed caviar.

And on November 7th phase 2 takes effect, mainly targeting Iran’s oil exports, which could prove the final death blow to Iran’s already downward spiraling economy.

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  • Barba_Papa

    If the EU can’t keep its companies in business with Iran, or counter US sanctions, then what do they have to offer the Iranians to stick to the nuclear deal?

    As usual the EU is too divided and infested with governments that have sold their soul to Washington for it to stand up to it.

  • AG Korvin

    Wouldn’t it be better for the Persians if they have a non-religious elected government? Just asking.

    • Selbstdenker

      Like the US, which trust in God, and any politician there need to state his love to god to be able to be elected? They swear on the bible, they emphasize their christian believes etc. Why are the Iranians not allowed to have a clerical government? Not so different from US.

      • AG Korvin

        They are allowed to have a clerical govt. And they aren’t allowed anything else.

    • seawolf

      I am not a religious man, but I don’t think that this is the problem with Iran.The problem is its resistance to the US imperialists and persistence to its sovereignty .

    • Albert Pike

      That’s up to them…

    • Peter Jennings

      Why would it make any difference?
      Iran must be doing something right as they haven’t attacked anyone outside their borders for close to two thousand years, nato king puppets aside.

  • TiredOfBsToo

    When the US mouthpieces dictate to other countries to respect sovereignty, remember how the US respects sovereignty the world over…. Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Venezuela…….. etc. etc. and on and on. Makes me wonder how those mouthpieces can maintain a straight face when uttering that hypocrisy.

  • Manuel Flores Escobar

    When Iran close Hormuz all these sanctions will be nothing in comparison to keep close Hormuz and the damage for western economy,,,

  • Albert Pike

    Everything develops similar as it was before Pearl Harbor. Just this time it’s Iran (and soon it might be Russia too), which even the movers and shakers in the States will be trying to isolate.

    History repeats itself?

  • Peter Moy

    Trade sanctions are just a euphemism for economic war. British Airways: “…..not commercially viable” is submitting to the war monger degenerates in Washington, DC. Another shameful lapdog decision. Iran is wise to increase cooperation with Turkey, Russia and China. The US-led NATO and EU countries are not reliable trade partners.

  • Peter Jennings

    Well done British Airways, cutting yourself from markets is an excellent business strategy. Tehran will become a major destination in future. When you finally come to your senses and begin to approach Iranian
    authorities, they should make you publically grovel for the return of
    business or fly a kite.
    I do hope all your shareholders feel as cocky as your management.

    Or, maybe British airways doesn’t fancy getting in the way of any isreali missiles.
    I see at least one of companies on the list of those halting business are already well on their way to going out of business!

  • Ma_Laoshi

    EU feet-dragging on the Iran-sanctions dossier was always limited to posturing. They wanted to be able to tell their subjects “See? We tried, but against the power of Mordor there can be no victory.” No retaliation against the US with meaningful bite was ever on the table; meaningful retaliation against the jewish interests pushing this Iran hatred–thought crime, can’t ever go there. The EU dutifully sanctions Russia for years already against the interests of its subjects; adding Iran is small fries in comparison. The current leadership works for the Dark Throne, colonialism always operates in the same way. If Europeans don’t like it, they should throw the bums out.

    One may have doubts whether the hegemon is using its power wisely, but at least they’re using it. When crazy Nikki Haley says she’ll be taking names of those countries that cross Uncle Sam she gets berated for it, but isn’t she just–doing what works? Contrast Russia: war criminal Macron bombs their Syrian ally, and a few weeks later Putin is still grateful that someone important shows up for his World Cup final. So young Macron learned the important lesson that with big scare Russia, you can in fact have it both ways.

  • HighLord Gaz

    Eurotrash cowards and satraps… a pox on them all.

  • occupybacon

    Anyone here, had any illusion that EU was serious on ‘shielding’ firms from US sanctions?