IranAir set to resume Europe flights as EU safety agency lifts ban

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Iran’s state-run carrier said it would resume flights to Europe starting from Wednesday as the country grapples with a major outbreak of the coronavirus.

Iran Air’s management board and Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs made the decision following talks with an unnamed European authority, the company said in a statement on its website, without specifying which routes will resume or whether they will be used to do more than repatriate Iranian nationals.

The move comes after the European Union Aviation Safety Agency banned three Airbus models within Iran Air’s fleet from European airspace, because they no longer met required airworthiness standards, the body said in an emailed statement, adding that the carrier did not face a general ban. The A300/A310 and A330 planes hadn’t undergone necessary software upgrades, the Iran-focused website Bourse & Bazaar reported.

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Routes to Vienna, Stockholm and Gothenburg, Sweden, are excluded from the decision, the Iran Air statement said. Iran Air also flies to London, Paris, Hamburg, Cologne and Frankfurt, according to its website. Calls to the company’s London office weren’t answered.

Flights from Iran to the Middle East and Asia have been virtually grounded after neighboring countries such as Turkey and the United Arab Emirates closed their borders and transit routes in order to contain the spread of the disease. The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority wasn’t able to immediately confirm whether flights from Iran are being permitted entry into British airports this week.

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