AI Express defers Tehran flight plan on US-Iran uncertainties


Express has deferred plan to launch direct flight to Tehran amid uncertainties over the current US administration’s stance towards as fresh sanctions could hurt the airline’s operations.

The carrier — the low cost arm of national carrier — was preparing to start Tehran flight this year as part of international expansion plans.

“We don’t know what is going to be the policy of the Trump administration towards If sanctions are re-imposed, there could be an issue in getting permission from the US banks for operating the aircraft in that territory,” a highly placed source told PTI.

As of now, the plan to launch flight to stands deferred, the source said.

Since some planes are financed through a loan from Exim of the US, the latter’s approval would be required before operating flights to In case there are sanctions, clearance would be a difficult proposition.

The plan to launch Tehran flight was decided after the US, under the then President Barack Obama, had eased the sanctions imposed on after striking a nuclear deal. However, there are concerns that the current American regime led by President Donald Trump could impose fresh sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Earlier this week, Trump described the nuclear deal with as “the worst” agreement ever negotiated, calling the Islamic Republic the number one terrorist state in the world.

Express was expecting the thrice-a-week Tehran flight to commence from March-April this year.

Currently, the airline flies to 15 international destinations including Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Doha and Singapore. It also has domestic flights.

The carrier has a fleet of 23 Boeing 737 planes.

GoAir has also got approval to start flights to and other overseas destinations.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)