Lamerd and Asaloyeh in Iran have gained their first international services, after IranAir (IR, Tehran Mehrabad) launched 1x weekly flights from each to Doha Hamad Int'l, ch-aviation schedule data research has revealed. The national carrier will utilise its ATR72-600s on the 152-nautical mile (281-kilometre) and 140-nautical mile (259-kilometre) sectors. The airline has also commenced a 2x weekly service from Bandar Abbas to Doha, with all three routes starting in the first week of February.

The new routes come as a result of growing economic and political ties between Iran and Qatar, the Fars news agency said. These improved relations are apparent against the near three-year-old blockade imposed on Qatar by several Arab states in the region, including Saudi Arabia. Iranian businesses have taken a more active role in the Gulf state since the blockade was imposed in June 2017, resulting in a need for more direct air services.

According to the ch-aviation schedules module, the only other scheduled service in Lamerd, located in the country's southwest province of Fars, is a 2x weekly operation to Tehran Imam Khomeini, flown by Mahan Air (W5, Tehran Mehrabad) BAe 146-300s. In contrast, the network of flights from Asaloyeh is far more robust, with services to 10 domestic points. Bandar Abbas already has an international route - namely a 2x weekly IranAir service to Dubai Int'l - as well as eight domestic connections.

As the airline has no aircraft based at Lamerd or Asaloyeh, the aircraft operating the service on Day 4 originates in Bandar Abbas, flies to the Qatari capital, before departing to Lamerd. It then returns to Doha before completing its W-pattern routing in Bandar Abbas. On day 7, the Lamerd leg is replaced by the sector to Asaloyeh.

IranAir now flies from five Iranian airports to Doha, with Bandar Abbas, Lamerd, and Asaloyeh joining Lar Larestan and Shiraz.

The carrier operates a fleet of 47 aircraft, including thirteen ATR72-600s which operate its domestic and regional services.