British Airways is the latest major airline to take advantage of Iran’s re-entry into the global economy, by relaunching direct flights from London to Tehran.
BA’s announcement comes just weeks after international sanctions against Iran — first put in place in 2006 — were lifted in January after Iran complied with restrictions on its nuclear programme.
In a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, the airline’s head of network planning Neil Cottrell said: “Iran is a large and growing economy and Tehran is a brilliant business city so we are incredibly excited to be adding another gateway to the Middle East for our customers.”
At first, British Airways plans to run six flights per week to the Iranian capital from London Heathrow as of July 14th, before running daily flights from the winter. Prices for flights to Tehran will start at £384 for a return journey.
In December, Air France became the first major Western airline to announce it was restarting direct flights to and from Iran’s capital, pre-empting the lifting of the sanctions. While BA has been a little more cautious in its approach to restarting the route, it is still one of the first major airlines to announce direct flights to Tehran since sanctions against Iran were lifted in mid-January.
Businesses across the West ranging from car companies to private equity firms are all clambering to enter Iran now that sanctions have finally been lifted, as the country is seen as the last truly untapped major economy, with Morgan Stanley describing the lifting of sanctions as the biggest thing for the global economy since the fall of the Soviet Union
Along with the Iran announcement, British Airways also said it will start flying to 14 new destinations, including Lima, Peru, and San Jose, Costa Rica.
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