Swedish Public Health Agency Calls for Suspension of Iran Flights Over Coronavirus

A Scandinavian airline SAS Airbus 330-300 aircraft is prepared for a flight to the U.S. at the Stockholm-Arlanda Airport in Sweden. FILE PHOTO/REUTERS./

STOCKHOLM, March 2 (Reuters) – Sweden’s Public Health Agency called on Monday for the government’s transport authority to withdraw IranAir’s license to fly to and from Sweden because of the deadly outbreak of coronavirus.

Iran had more than 1,500 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of March 2 and 66 people have died.

Sweden, which has 14 confirmed cases and no deaths, has a large Iranian community numbering around 80,000 people.

“Continuing to receive large groups of passengers from Iran, in the current circumstances, would make the work of limiting the spread of COVID-19 considerably more difficult and raise the risk that the infection could spread locally,” Public Health Agency General Director Johan Carlson said in a statement.

Iran Air currently has two direct flights to and from Stockholm Arlanda, and one to and from Gothenburg Landvetter, per week.

Sweden’s Transport Agency has not stopped flights between Sweden and China.

(Reporting by Stockholm Newsroom; editing by Niklas Pollard)