In early-September 2016, Australia’s Ambassador to Iran announced that bilateral air services agreement negotiations between the two countries are underway. The talks were involving “a couple of airlines”, according to CAPA.
A couple of weeks later, an Australian business delegation lead by the trade minister, Steven Ciobo, departed to Iran. Days ahead of the visit, the Turnbull government reopened Australia’s trade office in Tehran.
During Ciobo’s visit in Iran, three memorandum och understandings (MoUs) were signed with the aim of expanding cooperation in trade and finance.
The business delegation included a number of major Australian companies, and interestingly, the country’s flag carrier Qantas Airways. Besides, in October 2016, Iran Air announced its interest to launch flights to Australia once it receives the new aircraft.
On 2 November 2016, Iran and Australia inked two MoUs on cooperation in the field of aviation in Canberra, Australia’s capital. In the MoUs, the two parties underlined their interest in expanding cooperation and mutual relations in air transport. The documents also prepare the ground for direct air services between the nations.
Based on this agreement, the two countries’ aircraft can overfly each others’ airspace. Qantas already uses Iran’s airspace. Moreover, Iranian aircraft are now allowed to have layovers at Australian airports and vice versa.
The most notable part in the agreement is, however, the authorization of performing direct flights between the two countries. Direct flights can now be launched between Australia’s Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Iran’s Tehran, Mashhad, Shiraz and Isfahan.
Photo: Qantas Airways