Tehran: Indications grew stronger on Sunday over the prospects for Iran and the United States to establish a direct flight route between the two countries.
Iran’s Minister of Transportation Abbas Akhoundi has been quoted by the media that establishing a direct flight route to the US requires the necessary authorization of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization (CAO). Akhoundi added that CAO is currently following up the issue.
The Iranian minister made the comments on the sidelines of the CAPA Iran Aviation Summit in Tehran.
Iranian officials first raised the prospects for the establishment of the route in 2013 when the country was in talks with the P5+1 group of countries – the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany – over solutions to end disputes over its nuclear energy program.
“The required preparations have been made and if negotiations in the coming days move in a positive direction, we will be ready to launch the flights within two months,” said Ali-Mohammad Nourian, a top deputy transportation minister.
Nourian added that at least three Iranian airlines have the equipment to make the long-haul flight to the US.
On a related front, Farhad Parvaresh who heads the country’s national flag carrier Iran Air had told the media at the time that his airline is ready to establish direct flight routes to the US using the company’s Boeing 747s. Parvaresh had also emphasized that Aseman and Mahan Air – two key Iranian domestic airlines – could also set up North American routes.
Iran Air was considered as one of the fastest growing airlines in the world in the 70s, and also one of the safest. In 1976, it introduced one of the world’s longest nonstop routes from New York to Tehran on new Boeing 747 jumbo jets.
Direct flights from Iran to the US were halted after the two countries broke diplomatic ties in 1980.