SPAIN has cancelled the Mahan Air flights between Barcelona and Tehran.
The Iranian airline is under investigation by the US and numerous European states on the accusation of transporting weapons and soldiers to conflict zones.
As of the start of this year, Barcelona was the only destination within the EU that Mahan Air flew to and from.
The airline’s last flight departed El Prat airport on March 23, despite the state of emergency having been in effect for a week prior to this and Iran being one of the countries most affected by the pandemic.
Until then, Mahan Air had two weekly flights between the Catalan capital and the Iranian one, with one going on Wednesdays and one returning on Thursdays.
According to La Vanguardia, sources in the airline industry claimed that the flights only had about 30% occupancy.
In addition, the route was cancelled around the same time as El Prat’s Terminal 2 was closed on March 26, suggesting coronavirus was the factor behind the cancellation.
However, official airport sources reported that the withdrawal of the license to operate the route by the Spanish Administration was not due to COVID-19, but to political issues.
In 2011, Mahan Air was included in the list of Iranian companies to apply sanctions on, because Washington reported that its planes transported equipment, ammunition and fighters to conflict zones – especially Syria and Yemen – and in collaboration with Hezbollah.