The Dutch national carrier KLM has in a press release confirmed its plan for a Tehran comeback. The airline had prior to the announcement set several tentative start dates for the Amsterdam – Tehran route, the first one in May 2016 being announced from unofficial sources.
The route is planned to commence on the 22nd of October 2016 with 4 weekly rotations operated by a 3-class B777-200 aircraft, marking KLM’s 14th new destination this year. Flight KL433 will depart from Amsterdam at 17.40 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, arriving in Tehran at 01.20 (local time). The return flight, KL434, departs from Tehran at 03.20 (local time), arriving in Amsterdam at 06.45.
KLM has further strengthened its network with a new destination – the 14th to be added this year. This confirms that our strategy is starting to bear fruit. On the one hand we are improving our efficiency and productivity, while on the other we are investing in growth. -Pieter Elbers, KLM President & CEO
KLM previously operated Tehran from 1991 until 2013, when many international airlines seek to pull out from the sanction-hit country. During the past few years, Iran’s situation has brightened up and many airlines have decided to return or start new services to Iran.
KLM’s partner, the French national carrier Air France, resumed flights from Paris to Tehran with 3 weekly flights in April after an 8-year hiatus. The airline changed the operating aircraft from A320 to A330/A340 just a few weeks before the launch to increase the seat capacity and meet to present demand. The route is said to have continued successfully and the airline seeks to increase its operations to Tehran.
KLM’s Amsterdam-Schiphol route to Tehran faces direct competition from Iran Air with 2 weekly flights, while Air France meets direct competition from Mahan Air with the 3 weekly flights it operates to Paris-CDG and indirectly from Iran Air with 2 weekly flights to Paris-Orly. Iran Air has announced plans to increase the Amsterdam service to 5 weekly when the new aircraft arrive.