I always like to fly exotic routes in IF; routes that are rarely flown by other players. I realized I hadn’t seen anyone on Live fly to Iran, so I decided to do it. Imam Khomeini International (OIIE) is Iran’s biggest airport and the country’s main International hub. Today, Lufthansa, Austrian and Turkish Airlines are amongst the only European carriers that serve Tehran; but British Airways, KLM, Ukraine International and Air France used to fly routes to the Iranian capital before the degrading economy caused demand to fade a few years ago. Today, after seeing active ATC at Frankfurt, I decided to fly to Tehran as I had some free time. Lufthansa currently operates their A340-600s to Tehran; but due to the bad A340 model in Infinite Flight, I decided to go with the A330-300.
At the gate in Tehran (sadly there is no 3D model for Tehran Imam Khomeini)
For those of you who are interested in flying to Tehran, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Gulf Air, China Southern, Kuwait Airways and flyDubai plus the above-mentioned Lufthansa, Turkish and Austrian are the largest airlines flying to Tehran; and Saudia operates seasonal flights to Riyadh and Jeddah from Tehran during the Hajj season. The Iranian flag carrier, IranAir flies to nearly every major destination in Europe (including Frankfurt, Cologne, Hamburg, Munich, London Heathrow, Milan, Amsterdam, Paris, Rome and Vienna), mainly using its A330-200s but also occasionally its A300s and A310s. Tehran is also served by Aeroflot, which still continues flights to Moscow. The longest International route flown to Tehran (I believe) is Conviasa’s flight from Caracas, a route that according to some may have been established to achieve political goals rather than to fill demand. The airport is also served by many airlines in the Middle East and many smaller Iranian carriers who mostly fly to Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Georgia, Azerbaijan and the UAE.
Sadly I don’t think any European airlines fly to Tehran with the A330 in real life. Austrian and Turkish use their A320s and A321s while Lufthansa uses their A340s. BA, Air France and KLM used to fly their 777s to Tehran and Emirates and Qatar still use their 777s for Tehran. IranAir does fly its A330s to Europe but their A330s are -200s and not -300s, and the -200 is not in the game.
In the simplest way possible to explain, the US pulled put of a deal which led to sanctions on the country, leading many other (mainly European) countries to ban refuelling of Iranian airlines in their countries (drying up lots of local airline flights). This, tied in with the fatal shoot down of the Ukrainian airlines flight when it flew towards a military base (by accident) at night led to many Western airlines withdrawing their flights, citing safety and political reasons. The demand is still there, apparent by the daily A340 Frankfurt flights as well as the hundreds of weekly flights to Dubai and Istanbul.
(I know all this as I love researching 3D airports I make and read many news/wiki sites on this particularly interesting and troubled airport. - I recommend looking this up, it’s quite cool with all the historical planes still flying).
Love to see brilliant photos and appreciation of a less flown to region in the sim 😍
That’s insane! I’ll definitely be flying more to Tehran once that 3D model comes out. And about the sanctions, I don’t think that’s the only issue as Lufthansa and Austrian fly to Tehran just fine. For Air France, capital.fr reports that a lack of route support was the reason Air France stopped the IKA route.