Dubai: European oil companies Air BP and Shell have stopped fuelling Iranian aircraft at UAE airports in line with US trade sanctions on Iran, forcing them to find alternative sources.
Sources at Air BP and Shell confirmed to Gulf News that they are not fuelling Iranian aircraft.
However, Emirates National Oil Company, fuel provider to the aviation industry among others, said that it has not received any notification from the UAE government on Iranian sanctions that would hinder its business.
The company’s spokesperson did not confirm whether it is supplying fuel to Iranian airlines, except Iran Air, the government’s national carrier.
“We are not supplying any fuel to Iran Air,” Khalid Hadi, spokesman for the company, told Gulf News. “Even if there are any sanctions, that would not be affected,” he said.
Iranian airlines continue to fly in and out of UAE airports.
Dubai Airports, operator of Dubai International Airport, confirmed that Iranian airlines flying in and out of Dubai International continue to be refuelled.
Additionally, a senior official at the Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) has denied a report that Iranian airlines are not being allowed to refuel at UAE airports.
“As of now, we do allow Iranian planes to re-fuel and use all other services through the ADAC. We have passenger contacts to Iran that come on scheduled flights.
“The decision would come from the General Civil Aviation Authority, and they would be the authority that would issue such banning, but they haven’t informed us of anything yet, so until now we operate normally,” the official told Gulf News.
Various airlines continue to operate from UAE airports including Kish Air, Fars Air Qeshm, Mahan Air, Iran Aseman Airlines and Iran Air, Caspian Airlines, Aria Air and Taban Air.
“We are fuelling as normal, and we got our fuel today,” Mahdiyah Johari, station manager at Dubai airport said.
“We heard news [on fuelling problems] from here and there, but we didn’t get any official notice yet,” she said.
There are two airlines that fly to Abu Dhabi from Iran.
“Between both airlines, one of them arrives twice a week, and the other three times a week, so a total of five Iranian flights weekly, they come and refuel, there are no problems at all,” the official from ADAC said.
The West has imposed sanctions on Iran amid fears it is trying to develop nuclear weapons.
Tehran has refused to halt uranium enrichment, bringing increasing international pressure.
Last week, US president Barack Obama placed fresh sanctions on Iran, said to be the toughest yet, preventing it from buying refined petroleum as well as goods and services to modernise its oil industry.
— With inputs from Dina El Shammaa, Abu Dhabi Deputy Editor