Europe

KLM, Austrian Airlines Canceling Flights to Iran Amid Diplomatic Disputes

Both KLM, Royal Dutch Airlines, and Austrian Airlines have announced that they are canceling flights to Iran, Benjamin Weinthal reported for The Jerusalem Post. The announced cancellations, which are to take place in September, come at a time that the home countries of both airlines have ongoing diplomatic disputes with Tehran.

KLM announced Saturday that it would suspend direct flights to Tehran. A statement from the airline said, ““As a result of the negative results and financial outlook for the Tehran operation, the last flight will take off from Amsterdam on September 22, 2018 and land at Schiphol on September 23.”

Last week, it was announced that the Netherlands had expelled two Iranian diplomats two months ago. Iran’s Foreign Ministry recently announced that it had summoned the Dutch ambassador and conveyed to him that the expulsion was “unfriendly and nonconstructive,” and that Iran could choose to retaliate.

Though the Dutch government has given no reason for the expulsions, an Iranian-Arab separatist was killed in the Hague last November. Iran, in the past, has been implicated in the murder of political opponents on foreign soil.

Austrian Airlines also announced that it would be cancelling flights to Shiraz and Isfahan, but continuing its flights to Tehran, as Austria and Iran are also involved in a diplomatic dispute following a thwarted terror attack in Paris last month.

Austria has insisted that the Iranian ambassador lift the immunity of a diplomat, Assadollah Assadi, who was arrested in Germany, in connection with a planned bombing of a Paris conference sponsored by opponents of the current Iranian regime.

[Photo: Jon Olav Eikenes / Flickr]