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IranAir cancels Madrid flight, says handling service denied in Spain

IranAir says flight to Madrid was cancelled because it is denied handling services.

Iran’s flag carrier Homa, known internationally as IranAir, says it cancelled a flight to the Spanish capital Madrid after the airline was notified that it will not be provided with handling services in the destination airport.

Homa’s PR office said in a Wednesday statement that flight to Madrid planned for earlier in the day local time had been cancelled after the handling services company in the Spanish capital said it would no longer process flights by the Iranian airline.

There was no mention of the name of the company that handles flights by Homa at Madrid airport.

However, Swissport, a Swiss-based company that offers such services in nine airports in Spain, may have decided to stop services to Homa under pressure from the United States which maintains a harsh regime of sanctions against Iran.

Iranian flights to Europe have been subject to growing restrictions in destination airports across the continent in recent months as the spread of the coronaviorus pandemic have led to more cancellations amid stricter rules.

Iranian aviation sources say the US government of President Donald Trump has ramped up its pressure on authorities in Europe to limit the number of flights from Iran amid the pandemic.

Homa and Mahan Air, Iran’s largest commercial airline, have been able to resume flights to Europe amid intensive diplomatic efforts by Iran to restore the aviation services.

Homa offered an official apology to passengers for the cancelled flight on Wednesday, saying it would pursue the case until the route to Madrid is restored.

It said passengers could either receive full rebates or use flights to other European destinations without paying extra costs related to new flights.

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