Iranian airline Mahan Air plans to resume operations between Tehran and Belgrade as of this Sunday, with the airline recently putting tickets for the route on sale via its website. Mahan Air has scheduled two weekly services between the two capitals, on Friday and Sunday respectively.
The flights are primarily aimed at Chinese tour groups, but seats are available for booking to the general public as well.
Mahan Air said that they had recently launched flights to Shenzhen, their fourth destination in China, in addition to their scheduled flights to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou and that the number of Mahan Air flights to China amounted to fifteen per week, EX-YU Aviation News reports.
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Mahan Air initially planned to shuttle Chinese tourists to Banja Luka. Despite being issued a permit by the Bosnia and Herzegovina Directorate for Civil Aviation, as well as selling tickets for the Tehran-Banja Luka flights for almost two months, the airline now seems to have substituted the service with Belgrade instead.
Serbia is one of only four European countries, along with neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina, which does not require entry visas for Chinese passport holders. Iran itself is also waiving visa requirements for Chinese nationals at the end of this month. The 202-seat Airbus A310-300 aircraft will be used for the Tehran-Belgrade flights.
The airline maintains scheduled flights to around fifty destinations.
The new service will mark Mahan Air’s return to Belgrade after almost a year-long absence. The airline previously had several weekly flights from Tehran to the Serbian capital. During the 2018 summer season, several Iranian carriers, including Iran Air and Qeshm Air, launched services to Belgrade after Serbia became the only European country to allow visa-free entry for Iranian passport holders.
However, by October, visa requirements were reintroduced after an increased number of asylum seekers abused the visa-free policy. Belgrade Airport and Serbian immigration officers have since introduced an additional passport check for all passengers arriving on flights from Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa.
Travellers flying to Belgrade on Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airlines, Atlasglobal, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Flydubai and Tunis Air are required to immediately present their passports for inspection upon landing at the gate, after which their travel documents are checked again at passport control.
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