Source: Press TV
Iran said on Saturday that Bahrain's national carrier Gulf Air has announced that it will no longer make flights to Iran as of 14 January 2016.
Mohammad Khodakarami, the deputy for aviation and international affairs of Iran's Civil Aviation Organization (CAO), has been quoted by the media as saying that Gulf Air made the announcement through a letter to CAO.
Khodakarami said that the airline's flights will remain suspended until a further notice.
Gulf Air's move follows an earlier decision by Manama to cut all diplomatic ties with Iran. The decision came after Riyadh severed its relations with Tehran in reaction to protests in Iran against the recent execution of top Shia cleric Nirm al-Nirm by the Saudi government. Several other countries have also cut relations with Iran. They include Sudan, Somalia, and Djibouti.
Khodakarami added that Gulf Air in its letter has also requested that all flights by Iranian airlines to Bahrain be suspended from 14 January. Nevertheless, he said that Bahrain's state aviation organization is yet to officially inform CAO about the suspension of flights to Iran.
The official emphasized that Gulf Air currently operates 14 flights to Iran in a week. The flights are made to Tehran, Mashhad and Shiraz.
He emphasized that the suspension of Iran flights will harm Gulf Air more than the Iranian airlines. This, Khodakarami said, is because the airline's flight routes to Iran are among its most crowded ones.
Gulf Air had once suspended flights in Iran in 2008 as political rifts with Iran grew over allegations by Manama that Tehran was supporting anti-government protests in the tiny Persian Gulf state. The airline resumed its flights to the Islamic Republic later in 2011.
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