Qeshm Air plans to expand its fleet and enter the European market with two new routes. As earlier reported, Qeshm Air announced a new route from Tabriz to Hamburg with start on 15 May 2017, a date provided by the mayor of Tabriz but unconfirmed by the airline. Hamburg is one of six European destinations that Qeshm Air considers to begin operations to.
In mid-March 2017, the airline acquired an Airbus A319 which will commence international operations and initially be deployed on the new Tabriz – Hamburg route. In near future, the airline expects to take delivery of two more Airbus A319s with the production year 2003, as per an interview with Qeshm Air’s CEO Mahmoud Shekarabi by Tinn. The CEO clarified that Qeshm Air does not seek to purchase new aircraft as long delivery times are not favoured, instead, the airline is looking for second-hand aircraft with young age.
The European expansion is to become reality after the airline was granted a Third Country Operator (TCO) licence by the European Union’s EASA. The licence, obtained in November 2016, now allows Qeshm Air to operate services to EASA’s 32 member states.
Qeshm Air’s CEO Mahmoud Shekarabi announced in a meeting with Belgium’s Ambassador to Iran that the airline plans a second route to Europe, from Tehran to Brussels, according to IRNA. The route, set to be launched in near future, will establish the only air link between Iran and Belgium.
Iran has a great capacity to attract foreign tourists and the people of Belgium wishing to visit Iran will appreciate this new route. The establishment of Tehran – Brussels flights will have a positive impact on the development of relations between the two countries, including tourism, cultural, economic and investments, Belgium’s Ambassador to Iran François Delhaye said to IRNA.
The new service to Belgium will give rise to new fields of cooperation between Qeshm Air and Brussels Airlines. The two airlines are ready to initiate codeshare and Sales & Purchase agreements. In a written response to Aviation Iran, Brussels Airport confirms that the airport has held talks with Qeshm Air regarding a route to Tehran in the past but that a decision on the matter has not been made yet.
Meanwhile, Qeshm Air plans to introduce a system called ‘Media WiFi’ on its Airbus-operated long-haul routes. According to a press release, the new system will allow passengers to access in-flight entertainment on their own smart devices for free after having downloaded Qeshm Air’s app. The system has been created by an Iranian company and passed relevant tests, awaiting permission from Iranian authorities to ahead of an official launch.
Photo: Dmitry Terekhov