Iran and Japan are discussing flights between their capitals both by national flag carrier Iran Air and multiple airlines, a report says.
Iran Air is preparing to resume once-a-week flight connecting Tokyo’s Narita Airport with Tehran with a stop in Beijing, the financial news and data provider Bloomberg said, citing unnamed people familiar with the situation.
The Iranian airline ended flights in 2012 when the West imposed new sanctions on the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program.
Bloomberg said the earliest Iran Air is likely to resume service is next year. The two sides, however, are expected to reach an agreement “soon” on allowing direct flights between the countries for multiple airlines, it added.
Japan Airlines Co. stopped direct flights to Tehran in 1980 following the Islamic Revolution the previous year.
Bloomberg cited an official at Japan’s Transport Ministry as saying that they had received several requests from Iran Air and the Iranian government about resuming flights, but “nothing has been decided yet.”
The official said it would be less time-consuming to approve charter flights than regular commercial flights, it added.
Last week, Iran’s Minister of economic Affairs and Finance Ali Tayebnia signed an investment agreement in Tokyo to increase economic cooperation between the countries.
A number of international airlines have announced their intention to restart flights to Iran after a landmark nuclear agreement with Tehran went into effect last month.
British Airways will resume service to Tehran from the end of May, initially running six flights per week before moving to daily flights from winter 2016, departing from London’s Heathrow Airport.
The British airline followed Air France-KLM and Alitalia in confirming its intention to restart and increase flights to the Islamic Republic.
European trade interest in Iran has grown following President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Italy and France last month, which culminated in the signing of deals worth about $40 billion.
The deals included an Iranian plan to buy 118 Airbus jets worth $27 billion at list prices, including a dozen A380 superjumbos.
Iran’s national carrier signed another agreement reportedly worth $1.089 billion to buy 20 new passenger airplanes with an option for 20 more from French-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR.