After the unsuccessful plans to launch flights between Iran and Spain in 2016, the two countries set their eyes on the new year. In August 2015, Spain’s Ambassador to Iran announced that Tehran and Madrid have plans to establish direct flights between the two countries. In May 2016, Iran’s Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance acknowledged the reports and added that meetings regarding the matter have been held.
The officials are instead now moving towards summer 2017 and the potential rewards it can reap.
Iran’s tourism bureau in Spain announced that an Iranian airline will launch flights from Tehran to the Spanish cities of Madrid and Barcelona. The route to Barcelona will be operated two times a week by an Airbus A340 aircraft, most likely to be Mahan Air, Mehr News Agency reports. The two weekly flights will offer seats to 500 passengers. The Madrid flights will also commence during the same period, however, no further information was disclosed.
While the number of Spanish tourists visiting Iran has doubled since the nuclear deal’s implementation, Iranians have it rather difficult. Although the figures of Iranians visiting in Spain has increased, the growth is trimmed down due to the complicated visa process in Tehran. Iranians cannot benefit from the same visa-free regime that Iran applied towards Spain. In order to visit Spain, applicants must visit Spain’s Embassy in Tehran and be interviewed, as well as apply with documents translated into Spanish, not Persian nor English. On top of that, Iran lacks Spanish translators.
Spain has passed about 300 days without a government. The Iranian tourist bureau hopes that the tourism relations with Madrid will get better once a new government is installed.