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Air France

Air France

Industry: 
Airline
Value of USG Contracts: 
14
Symbol: 
Euronext:AF
Country: 
France
Sources: 

"Air France resumed flights to Iran Sunday after last year's landmark deal to curb Iranian nuclear activities, as part of larger French and European efforts to rebuild trade ties long frozen by sanctions. The direct flight from Paris to Tehran was the first since 2008. French Transport Minister Alain Vidalies and a business leaders' delegation were on board flight AF 378 that took off from Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport after noon. Air France CEO Frederic Gagey was optimistic the line would prove profitable. 'It's a touristic destination which I believe is going to become very popular, very attractive,' he said. Air France is also counting on Paris to become a hub for American and other tourists headed to Tehran. Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan, Iran's deputy transport minister, welcomed the resumption of the flight. 'The current situation has fortunately given the opportunity to both countries to restore their relations to their normal former state. It interestingly seems that the Islamic Republic's aviation sector has been dominated by France and French industries,' he said. The resumption of flights will restore a longstanding aviation link between the two countries. The airline operated flights to Tehran from 1946 until October 2008, when they were suspended amid U.N. and EU sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program. The plans have sparked debate within the airline, with some female crew members objecting to having to cover their hair while in Iran, in line with Iranian law. Air France said earlier this month it would allow female pilots and cabin crew to opt out of assigned Tehran flights if they object to covering their hair... Air France will fly to Iran three times a week. German carrier Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines also run several flights a week connecting Iran and Europe. British Airways plans to resume operations to Iran starting this summer." (AP, “Air France resumes flights to Iran after 8 years,” 4/17/2016)

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"A steward from Air France has launched an online appeal against gay cabin members having to travel to Iran. It's titled: 'Gay stewards from Air France don't want to fly to the death penalty in Iran'. 'Sure, our sexuality isn't written on our passports and it doesn't change the way we work as a crew,' wrote 'Laurent M' in an open letter to the French government and the CEO of Air France Frédéric Gagey. 'But it is inconceivable to force someone to go to a country where his kind are condemned for who they are.' The letter points out that homosexuality in Iran is illegal and comes with a penalty of 74 lashes for a minor, while adults can be given the death penalty. A petition on site Change.org which calls for gay stewards not to work on the soon to re-open Paris to Tehran route has gained almost 2,000 signatures in the past few days. The letter comes just one week after Air France hostesses and female pilots refused to fly on the Paris to Tehran route because they didn't want to be forced to wear a veil and loose trousers. The airline eventually found a compromise with unions after the story gained international media attention. In the end, Air France accepted that stewardesses could refuse to work on the Tehran route without facing punishment." (The Local, “Air France's gay stewards rebel over flights to Iran,” 4/12/2016)

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"Air France is facing a backlash after instructing female crew to wear trousers during flights to Iran and to don a 'loose-fitting jacket and headscarf' before leaving the plane in Tehran. Staff representatives have accused the airline, which will resume flights to the Iranian capital later this month, of forcing female staff to wear clothes that are an 'ostentatious religious sign' that goes against French law. Union leaders said the dress code was an attack on individual freedoms and insisted the measure had to be voluntary; Air France said the rules were not new and already applied to cabin crew during stop-overs in Saudi Arabia where hostesses were required to wear an abaya covering their body. Air France will begin three daily fights to the Iranian capital on 17 April, eight years after they were stopped following the imposition of international sanctions against Tehran. These were lifted in January after Iran agreed to dismantle its nuclear programme. Air France’s clothing advice was contained in an internal note to staff. Christophe Pillet, of the SNPNC union and a member of the Air France staff committee, said the instructions had sparked widespread concern. 'Every day we have calls from worried female cabin crew who say they do not want to wear the headscarf,' Pillet told AFP. He said airline management had raised the possibility of penalties against staff who refused to follow the dress code. Françoise Redolfi, another union leader, told RFI radio, 'They are forcing us to wear an ostentatious religious symbol. We have to let the girls choose what they want to wear. Those that don’t want to must be able to say they don’t want to work on those flights.' She added: 'Many female members of flight crews have told us that it’s out of the question they be obliged to wear headscarves. It’s not professional and they see it as an insult to their dignity.'" (Guardian, “Air France faces staff mutiny in headscarf row,” 4/3/2016)

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In partnership with KLM, Air France offers flights from Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport (IKA) to multiple countries in Europe. (Company Website)

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KLM and Air France "have become the largest European airline group: one group, two airlines, and three businesses." (KLM Website, "Air France KLM")

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"Air France will resume flights to Tehran for the first time in more than seven years, as part of resuming European trade with Iran following a hard-fought deal to curb its nuclear activities. The airline announced in a statement Tuesday that it 'is supporting the resumption of commercial exchange with Iran' and will operate flights three times a week starting in April. The statement says 'Air France is illustrating its ambition to expand in a country with buoyant growth, as the European Union is Iran's fourth most important economic partner.' Air France operated flights to Tehran from 1946 until October 2008, when they were suspended amid U.N. and EU sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program." (AP, "Air France to resume flights to Tehran after nuclear deal," 12/8/15)

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"Air France-KLM will suspend its Amsterdam-Tehran service starting April 2013, a spokesman for the carrier said. It currently flies to Iran  four times a week." (Reuters, "Two airlines suspend Iran flights as economy weakens," 1/13/2013)

Response: 

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