Spanish government bans Iranian airline Mahan Air

Mahan Air A340-600 landing at Shenzhen Bao’an Airport. Photo by Jay Lee | AeroNewsX

It has recently come to light that no other Mahan Air aircraft will be landing in Barcelona or at any other Spanish airport once the coronavirus crisis comes to an end. The reason for this is because Spain has revoked Mahan Air’s landing rights, preventing the airline from operating flights to and from any Spanish airport, hence forcing it to discontinue the only route it operated between Iran and the Iberian Peninsula; from Tehran Imam Khomeini Airport to Barcelona El Prat Airport.

The move by the Spanish Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC), comes after the US and other European countries accused the airline of transporting weapons and combatants to war zones, which led to a ban of the airline.

The first government to take action on the matter was the US, whereby it publicly accused the airline and encouraged European states to prohibit the airline as well. Shortly after, Germany and France banned the airline from flying to their territories. Italy was the last to revoke the carrier’s landing permits last December, where the airline used to operate flights to Rome Fiumicino Airport and Milan Malpensa.

Ever since the ban by Germany, France, and Italy, Mahan Air’s twice-weekly service between Tehran and Barcelona was the only route the airline operated to a destination within the European Union. This continued service caused relative unrest among the general public. It is because of this, and likely the pressure by the US government, that these flights have come to an end. However, it is worth noting that before the coronavirus crisis, the airline still operated flights to destinations within continental Europe such as Istanbul (Turkey) and Moscow (Russia).

The last flight between Tehran and Barcelona occurred on the 23rd of March and with that saw the disappearance of the only direct link between Spain and Iran. Additionally, the cancellation of these flights means that Barcelona El Prat airport will no longer be receiving scheduled A340 services.

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