Iran Air to resume flights to Rome on Feb. 3

January 15, 2020 - 19:13

TEHRAN - Iran’s flag carrier Iran Air will resume direct flights to the Italian capital Rome on February 3.

The airliner will operate Tehran-Rome flights on Mondays and Thursdays from Imam Khomeini International Airport, IRNA reported on Tuesday

Currently, Iran Air operates flights to Milan every Tuesday and Friday.

The idea of establishing the service was put forward last November, several days after Iranian aviation authorities confirmed that the Italian government had banned Mahan Air, Iran’s second largest airline, from the country’s airspace under pressure from the United States.

The ban came nearly two months after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo paid a visit to Rome, urging the Italian government to comply with Washington’s sanctions on Iran and to stop accommodating Mahan flights.

The U.S. government has imposed sanctions on Mahan Air, accusing it of providing services to the IRGC, Iran’s elite military force which has also been blacklisted by Washington. Germany and France have both already banned flights by the airline. However, no similar decision has so far been made against Iran Air.

Last month, Italian ambassador to Iran Giuseppe Perrone said that the two countries are in talks to deepen bilateral cooperation, particularly in the field of cultural heritage, making the remarks on the sidelines of a ceremony to launch a joint project for developing cultural heritage and tourism.

He described Iran “as a country that is very rich in terms of cultural sites and archeological sites… so there is a lot for people to discover,” adding “Iran is a country that has a great and [un-]tapped potential and when it comes to tourism, cultural heritage, it has a lot to offer.”