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 led by the trade minister, Steven Ciobo, departed to Iran. Days ahead of the visit, the Turnbull government had 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 bilateral trade and finance.
The business delegation included a number of major Australian companies, including the country’s flag carrier Qantas Airways. Earlier 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 aviation MoUs on a visit to the Australian capital. In the MoUs, the two parties underlined their interest in expanding cooperation and bilateral relations in air transport. The documents also prepare ground for direct air services between the two states.
Moreover, the agreement permits the two countries’ aircraft to overfly, land and have layovers in each country. Qantas already flies via Iranian airspace.
The most notable part in the agreement is, however, the authorization of operating direct flights between the two countries. Direct flights can now be launched between the Austrian cities Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Iranian cities Tehran, Mashhad, Shiraz and Isfahan.
Photo: Qantas Airways