Emirates hopes sanctions won’t impact Iran operations

UAE carrier earlier described Iran as ‘very important market’

Sarah Diaa, Staff Reporter
19:35 May 9, 2018
Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum

Dubai: Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chairman and CEO of Emirates airline and Group, said on Wednesday he hoped possible sanctions on Iran would not impact the carrier’s operations in Iran.

“We’re hoping they [sanctions] will not impact transport between the two countries, but with political issues... we have been operational for over 30 years, and we have experienced tougher challenges but we overcame them,” he told reporters.

His comments come a day after US President Donald Trump announced plans to withdraw from the nuclear deal, a move that will likely see America reintroduce sanctions on Iran.

But Shaikh Ahmad said Emirates will continue to diversify its routes so it is not reliant on any one market, and did not express concerns about implications of America’s actions.

“We shouldn’t jump into conclusions. We continue to fly to Iran today, [and] we fly via the airspace of Iran to a number of countries, so I cannot really sit here and [say] what will happen tomorrow,” he said.

In late April, Emirates said it is eyeing expansion in Iran, which it described as “a very important market,” saying it is interested in increasing its operations there. The carrier currently operates flights to Tehran and Mashhad, both of which have strong seat factors.