20:35 GMT +318 January 2020
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    Blaming poor economic performance for more than two years, Air France has decided to cut the service it provides through subsidiary Joon linking Paris and Tehran to just the summertime.

    This past January, as part of a wider restructuring and rebranding, Air France shifted Tehran services from its main network to the newly launched subsidiary, Joon, which aims primarily at a younger clientele between the ages of 18 and 35.

    Now, the company is cutting its Paris-Tehran route to only operate between the two national capitals during the summer season, to take effect October 28.

    "Air France has decided to adapt its program to better match demand," the airline's spokesperson told Reuters Wednesday.

    Observers say the carrier is concerned with the international uncertainty over whether or not US President Donald Trump will withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal struck between Iran, the US and other powers. People doing business in Iran have reportedly been reluctant to travel to the Islamic Republic to close deals until the sanctions issue is settled.

    READ MORE: Netanyahu Seeks to Prod Trump to Withdraw From Iran Nuclear Deal — Reports

    "This just shows how the uncertainty on the Iran deal is beginning to have an impact on the business sentiment towards Iran," a European diplomat said, according to Reuters.

    According to Air France's spokesperson, the move wasn't driven by the political climate.

    Meanwhile, flight schedule data from database firm OAG indicates that airlines flying to Iran from the UK, France, Germany and Turkey believe that demand for flights to Iran peaked last year.

    According to the data, there were 6,281 scheduled one-way flights to Iran from those countries in the summer of 2017, compared to 5,594 planned for the summer of 2018. That is, however, higher than 4,666 in the summer of 2015.

    READ MORE: Iran Vows 'Surprising' Response to Israel Amid Nuclear Deal Tensions

    Earlier this year, Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways also ended flights to Iran and Uganda.

    Trump has repeatedly expressed his dissatisfaction with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran, commonly known as the nuclear deal. In late January 2018, he intensified his rhetoric, asking the US Congress to address the flaws in the "terrible Iran nuclear deal" and threatening to pull out of it if they weren't fixed to his satisfaction. Trump is expected to announce his decision on the JCPOA by the May 12 renewal deadline. French President Emmanuel Macron recently flew to Washington to try and convince Trump to retain the deal, but had no luck.

    The JCPOA was inked by the EU, Iran and the P5+1 group, which includes Russia, China, France, the UK, the US plus Germany, on July 14, 2015. Under the deal, Tehran pledged to not seek to develop or acquire nuclear weapons in exchange for the signatory powers lifting sanctions imposed against Iran for the purpose of stopping its alleged nuclear weapons development.


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