TEHRAN (Dispatches) - Qatar Airways says it has had no problem using the Iranian airspace amid heightened military tensions between Iran and United States in recent days, insisting that the airspace, currently avoided by a few number of flights, is completely safe.
The Doha-based carrier said on Wednesday that it has not lost any bookings during a recent military standoff between Iran and the U.S. which even led to the downing of a Ukrainian airliner last week near the Iranian capital Tehran.
Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker said that flights by the company to Iran will continue despite moves to the contrary by several other airlines.
The announcement came amid unconfirmed media reports suggesting that a Qatar Airways flight from Tehran to Doha "miraculously” escaped Iranian air defenses shooting in early hours of January 8, when a Boeing 737-800 operated by Ukraine International Airlines was accidentally shot down after taking off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport.
Iran’s largest airline IranAir also announced that it will resume a flight service between Tehran and Rome in early February after the Italian government banned flights by Iran’s second largest airline, Mahan, in December.
"In response to requests by fellow citizens living abroad for reinstating this route ... this flight will be carried out on Mondays and Thursdays every week from Imam Khomeini airport (IKA) to Rome airport (FCO) and vice versa,” said a statement on the website of the company.
Homa, known internationally as IranAir, said on Tuesday that flights two times a week to the Italian capital will begin on February 3, 2020.
IranAir is currently flying to Italy’s Milan on Tuesdays and Fridays every week.
Homa’s decision to reinstate its route to Rome comes less than a month after a similar flight service by Iran’s Mahan Air was canceled because of a ban imposed by the Italian authorities.