Airlines Affected by Iran-USA Row

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AUSTRIAN AIRLINES is re-evaluating its Vienna-Tehran services after being the latest airline to be caught up in an international diplomatic dispute.  It has cut the frequency from five a week to three and now picks up fuel in Azerbaijan on the return flight, after being told by the Iranian authorities its aircraft would no longer be able to refuel at Tehran.  According to Iran’s civil aviation authority, a block on fuel supplies to several foreign carriers was introduced as a response to United Nations sanctions against the country.

We’re continuing to operate a non-stop Vienna-Tehran flight but on the return we’re making a stop in Baku to do some refuelling there,” said an Austrian Airlines spokesman.  “The fuel stop adds around an hour and 45 minutes to the return flight.”  KLM has been operating a similar flight pattern since the end of 2010, flying direct from Amsterdam to Tehran but making a fuel stop at Athens on the return leg – although this could be omitted if several factors including load factor and weather conditions permitted a non-stop leg.  British Midland International has introduced a fuel stop at Yerevan, Armenia, in both directions, “due to fuel supplies being restricted by the authorities in Iran.”  Alitalia’s Tehran services now include a fuel stop in the Turkish capital, Ankara.  (Eryl Crump)

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