A representative of the Greek airline Aegean told Arutz Sheva on Monday that the Iranian Civil Aviation demanded the airline cancel direct flights from Tehran to Tel Aviv – even though such flights do not exist – in a demand that has led to a temporary cancellation of indirect flights via Athens.
Iranian Civil Aviation Public Relations Manager Mohammad Rahimi told the semi-official Fars News Agency about the request on Sunday.
"After a (Iranian) media outlet informed us that Greece's Aegean Airline has included Tel Aviv in its online sales system, the Civil Aviation in a written warning cautioned the airline to delete this fake name from its list," said Rahimi.
He said his organization will keep an eye on the incident, with the report emphasizing that Iran does not recognize Israel.
A representative of Aegean confirmed to Arutz Sheva on Monday that the request was in fact received, while clarifying that the point of contention was alleged direct flights to Tel Aviv.
"The Iranian Civil Aviation has requested AEGEAN to remove direct flights from Teheran (sic) to Tel Aviv, but such flights had never been published by AEGEAN nor had AEGEAN at any time the intention to establish such flights," explained the representative.
"While seeking for clarification on the issue with the concerned authorities, AEGEAN has removed the fares from THR (Tehran) to TLV (Tel Aviv), which indeed had been filed for travel via Athens," she added, noting on an indirect flight path from Tehran to Tel Aviv via Greece that has been suspended.
Describing how Iran's pressure on the service to Tel Aviv is in breach of protocol, the representative stressed that "it is common practice that airlines that do operate to Iran are selling tickets via their home base to Tel Aviv, and AEGEAN is expecting nothing else than being able to sell tickets via its home base in Greece, like all other carriers."