London, Wednesday, December 23, 1998: British Airways is to lift its ban on carrying Mr Salman Rushdie.
In a statement today, the airline said: “We have decided, after a full review of all the issues, to resume carrying Mr Salman Rushdie again from the beginning of 1999.
“The statements made by the British Foreign Secretary and the Iranian Minister for Foreign Affairs in New York on September 24, have led to the resumption of normal diplomatic relations between the two countries. In his statement, the Iranian Minister gave assurances that the Iranian Government would not take action to threaten the life of Mr Rushdie nor encourage or assist anyone else to do so.
“The only reason why we have been unwilling to carry Mr Rushdie has been concern for the safety and security of our passengers, our staff and our operations. This remains the paramount consideration.
“In the new circumstances however, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have assured us that our worldwide operation would not be at any greater risk as a result of this decision. This assurance has been an important factor in reaching our decision.”