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First British Airways flight lands in Iran after 4 years

3 September 2016 14:38

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British Airways has resumed direct flights to Iran after a hiatus of four years following the removal of sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

The first passenger plane of flagship carrier BA landed at Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA) in Tehran on Friday morning after the airline suspended its flights to Iran in October 2012.

The Boeing 777, led by Iranian-British captain Kami Hosseini, departed from London’s Heathrow airport Thursday night.

British Airways plans to operate six return flights a week between London’s Heathrow and Tehran’s IKIA. A daily service will start later this year.

The flagship British carrier has described the Iranian capital as “an important destination” for the airline.

British Airways announced in June that it had postponed the long-awaited resumption of its flights to Iran due to “some technical issues.”

The resumption of flights follows the lifting of some sanctions against Iran in January. The sanctions were removed after the implementation of a nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries – the United States, France, Britain, China, Russia and Germany – in January.

Iran and the P5+1 reached the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), on July 14, 2015.

Britain reopened its embassy in Tehran in August 2015 as a sign of improvement of mutual ties between the two countries after hundreds of Iranian students staged a protest outside the embassy in 2011, censuring the expansion of UK sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Air France also resumed Paris-Tehran flights in April after an eight-year break.

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