Korean Air to launch direct service to Iran this year

Baku, March 11, AZERTAC

A direct air route linking South Korea and Iran will open for the first time in four decades following the lifting of international sanctions against Tehran, the South Korean government said on Friday, according to IRNA.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said it will give a flight license to Korean Air Lines Co., the country's largest air carrier, to ferry passengers and air freight four times a week between Incheon, the country's main gateway on the outskirts of Seoul, and Tehran, Yonhap news agency reported.

Korean Air, that won the license over rival Asiana Airlines Inc., is expected to start operation on the route within the year.

South Korea and Iran reached an aviation agreement in 1998 to allow South Korean airliners to run four flights of passenger and cargo planes.

But no South Korea-flagged passenger aircraft has landed on Iranian soil so far, while Iran Air had operated a Tehran-Incheon route via China's Beijing until 2007. The airway was suspended at that time due to the international sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear program.

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