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nothing to do with recent publicity

Manston to stop fuelling Iran Air: pure coincidence?

A controversial deal allowing Iran Air to refuel at Manston airport will come to an end, the Isle of Thanet Gazette can reveal. Airport boss Charles Buchanan said the company would not be using the airport any more, but said this had nothing to do with recent publicity over the arrangement.

It was claimed Iran Air planes were using the airport to dodge US sanctions. Mr Buchanan said:

“By accepting Iran Air flights for refuelling there is nothing wrong being done. What we are doing is in conjunction and in liaison with the Department of Transport and is not offending any relations.”

Iranian planes are banned from refuelling in countries that have economic ties with America. but can avoid sanctions by filling up at privately owned airports such as Manston. The Iran Air flights are allowed to land at Heathrow however they are not able to refuel for the journey home at any airport that has trade links with the US. Mr Buchanan said:

“The arrangement is coming to an end. It has been going on for around eight months and they have now decided to make other arrangements.”

Mr Buchanan said he did not know where Iran Air will refuel from now on.

thisiskent 2nd Dec 2011

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