KLM to Suspend Iran Flights, Citing Economic Concerns

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has decided to suspend all flights to Tehran, effective September 24.

In a brief statement posted on its official website, KLM 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. Passengers with a ticket for a flight from Amsterdam to Tehran or vice versa on or after September 24 will be transferred to the most suitable alternative or financially compensated.”

KLM halted its flights to Tehran once before in winter of 2013. The spokesman for the airline at the time said that “commercial and not political reasons had prompted the move.” However, both Air France and KLM  resumed their flights to Tehran in the spring of 2016. Air France–KLM is the result of the merger in 2004 between Air France and KLM.

The announcement by KLM coincides with the expulsion of two employees of the Islamic Republic Embassy from the Netherlands and the summoning of the Dutch ambassador by the Iranian Foreign Ministry in Tehran.

During former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s second term in office, the U.S. passed the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act in 2010, which prompted many airlines to halt their services to Tehran. At the time, KLM, British Airways, Air Asia, Tajik Air, Austrian Airlines and others cited commercial reasons for suspending their flights to Iran.  

[Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi]