Saudi Arabia bans Iran's Mahan Air from its airspace

Saudi Arabia bans Iran's Mahan Air from its airspace
Saudi Arabia on Monday banned Iranian commercial carries Mahan Air from entering its airspace and using its airports over 'safety concerns', the country's aviation authority said.
2 min read
05 April, 2016
Diplomatic and commercial ties between Saudi and Iran were severed in January [Anadolu]

Saudi Arabia's aviation authority said Monday it had banned Iran's Mahan Air from using its airports and air space over "safety concerns".

The General Authority for Civil Aviation said it decided to stop "permits granted to Iran's Mahan Air, ban it from landing in the kingdom's airports or passing through its air space," according to a statement carried by SPA state news agency.

The authority cited "violations of national regulations related to safety of international carriers" but did not specify the violations.

Saudi Arabia severed all air links with Iran in January after the two countries cut diplomatic ties following Riyadh's execution of prominent Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr.

Demonstrators had stormed the Saudi consulates in the Iranian city of Mashhad and the capital Tehran after Nimr's execution, to which Saudi retaliated with cutting off diplomatic and commercial ties.

The UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, Qatar, Kuwait and other nations followed suit by recalling their ambassadors from Iran.

Some 150 direct flights a month connected Saudi Arabia and Iran, ferrying pilgrims to Muslim holy sites.

It is not clear when the violations referred to by the Saudi aviation authority were committed.

Mahan Air's website does not show any scheduled flights to Saudi Arabia.