"Outside carriers including Qatar Airways Ltd. have increased services to Iran to fill gaps where the Islamic republic’s own operators are struggling to operate." (Bloomberg, "Iran Air Lifts Foreign Fares 90% as Sanctions Push Up Fuel Costs," 11/25/2012)
"Relief, it appears, will come from Qatar Airways, which has been tapped to take over an unspecified number of domestic flights within Iran. The unprecedented announcement was promptly followed by news that the Doha-based airline plans to greatly expand its flight offerings to Iranian cities... Few details were provided, but based on the agreement Qatar Airways will have to cooperate with Iranian airlines as required by Iranian regulations banning foreign companies from operating domestic routes. The measure is also seen by some as a means of countering sanctions... 'Allowing Qatar or any other foreign country to operate some of our domestic flight is aimed at diminishing the pressure of the sanctions, and it is a suitable policy under the current conditions,' Iranian lawmaker Ali Akbar Moghanjoughi was quoted as saying about the agreement... For its part Qatar Airways announced on October 31 a '150 percent increase in overall frequency' of its flights to Iran beginning December 1. The airline said there will be an additional 31 flights each week from Doha, with the historic city Isfahan being added as a destination city. Qatar Airways has already flights to three major Iranian cities: Tehran, Mashhad, and Shiraz... 'Today's announcement is a historic moment showing the strengthening of ties between our two countries,' Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said... 'It's going to be seen -- in Washington certainly -- as one more example of Qatar not being as cooperative as United States would like about sanctions. I don't think Qatar is violating any laws here but they're certainly violating the spirit of isolating Iran,' Hounshell said... 'Iran Air was founded 25 years (in 1946) before Qatar gained its [independence] (in 1971), 'read a message widely shared on Facebook that warned, 'Qatar is conquering Iran's airspace.'... On the other hand, she says, people will feel safer flying with Qatar Airways instead of Iranian airlines that have suffered a number of tragic accidents in recent years... 'I will definitely choose Qatar Airways over those Soviet-made planes, even if I have to pay more,' says one man in Tehran, noting that officials have announced that the cost of the Qatar Airways-operated flights would be 25 percent higher than those run by Iranian airlines." (Radio Farda, "Qatar Conquers Iran's Airspace," 11/5/2011)
In a press release published on its site, Qatar Airways announced 31 extra flights/week across four Iranian cities, representing 150% capacity hike, beginning in January 2012. (Qatar Airways, "Press Releases," 10/31/2011).