Air France is the latest western company to ready itself for the opening up of Iran’s economy once sanctions against the country are lifted.
France’s national airline is relaunching flights to Iran for the first time in more than seven years as it looks to take advantage of the country’s imminent entry into the global economy.
The country has been subject to strict sanctions from the international community in recent years because of its nuclear programme, but sanctions are expected to be lifted pretty soon.
Air France is positioning itself to take advantage of the end of sanctions, and will start to operate three flights a week from Paris to the Iranian capital Tehran in April 2016, according to a statement on the company’s website.
The statement says that “Air France is illustrating its ambition to expand in a country with buoyant growth, as the European Union is Iran’s fourth most important economic partner.”
“With these new route launches, Air France is showing that it is ready to seize all possible profitable development and growth opportunities,” added Frederic Cagey, the airline’s Chairman and CEO.
Air France previously flew to and from Iran for more than 60 years after the Second World War, but stopped in 2008 as a result of the EU sanctions against the country.
Lots of people are getting pretty excited about doing business with Iran, and Air France are going to try and take advantage of this excitement.
Last week Morgan Stanley described Iran as the biggest thing for the global economy since the fall of the Soviet Union and businesses ranging from car companies to private equity firms are all preparing themselves to enter the country once sanctions are lifted.
There isn’t a firm date yet for sanctions to be lifted, but it is likely to some time next year.
Despite the announcement, the flights are not yet listed on AirFrance’s website, which currently shows that travellers need to connect via Rome or Amsterdam to get to Iran from France.