MANCHESTER – Even in the midst of a global pandemic, Iran Air (IR) has inaugurated services to Manchester Airport (MAN) from Tehran (IKA).

The once-weekly flight will be serviced by its fleet of two Airbus A330-200 aircraft operating on Saturdays.

Photo: Author

These aircraft will offer 32 seats in Business followed by 238 in Economy.

The first flight departed Tehran at 0555L before arriving into MAN at 0900L this morning. The return then departed around 1030L before arriving back into Tehran for 2015L.

Capacity Increases for the UK

Iran Air’s service to MAN will boost its seat capacity into the UK by 12.5%, offering 4,320 seats from the beginning of this month, with the thrice-weekly London Heathrow (LHR) route complimenting this portfolio.

According to data from, the carrier will only offer 14,820 seats into the UK between now and the end of December if those two aircraft are used year-round.

Photo: Author

In addition to giving a direct link to the Iranian capital, it also makes IR the only airline to operate to Tehran from the UK, especially after British Airways’ (BA) decision to suspend its route back in September 2018 following political instability in the region.

As of today, Manchester will be the sixth destination served in Europe by the airline after Milan, Stockholm, London, Madrid and Dusseldorf.

This is also significant news for the airport, in time for the relaunch of operations from the area since July 1.

Iran Air will now join the following airlines that are operating out of the airport:

Photo: Author
  • Air France
  • KLM
  • Aer Lingus
  • Eurowings
  • Loganair
  • Lufthansa
  • Qatar Airways
  • British Airways
  • Ryanair
  • Eastern Airways

Comments from Manchester Airport

Yesterday, the Aviation Director for Manchester Airport, Julian Carr made a post on social media platform LinkedIn that other carriers such as Ethiopian (ET), Finnair (AY), Turkish (TK) and easyJet (U2) are restarting operations, too.

Photo: Jamie Clarke

“While it’s some way off where we should have been, the initial loads on these flights have been very encouraging and shows there is certainly demand out there,” said Carr.

The Director also hinted that there may be a new route announcement this month in regards to a new airline.

“Also, next week we’ve still got some surprises in store with respect to new airline and route announcements etc”.

“Been keeping busy these last few months! While we’re not back to the levels in this picture, it’s great to finally be getting up and flying again and starting the process of rebuilding the Gateway to the North!”

Photo: Jamie Clarke

It remains clear that MAN is positioning itself as a way of preparing for air travel to return to high levels once further restrictions on travel ease.

It will be interesting to see what the load factors are, not just on the IR flight but also on other general flights operating out of Manchester.

From there, it could be determined what air travel in the North West of England will look like going into the future.