Etihad Airways is pruning its operations, a cost cutting measure that would see it end its flights to Iran and Uganda by 2018.

The Abu Dhabi airline, one of the three Gulf super connectors, has spent over a decade building a global network that links passengers travelling between East and West.

The airline said on Tuesday it will stop flying to Iran’s capital Tehran on January 24 and Uganda’s Entebbe on March 25.

The five weekly Tehran services are to be reduced to twice a week between December 25 and January 23, before it is suspended entirely on January 24.

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An Etihad spokeswoman declined to say why flights to Tehran were being suspended, but said affected passengers could switch to an alternative travel date between December 25 and January 23 or be refunded.

Uganda’s Entebbe is being dropped after a commercial review of the route’s performance, an Etihad statement said.

Etihad stopped flying to San Francisco in October and has also announced it would cut flights to Dallas-Fort Worth and India’s Jaipur next year.

Etihad, along with Emirates and Qatar Airways which make up the three major Middle East airlines, relies on connecting millions of passengers a year through the Gulf, which means ending one route can have a knock-on effect on its network.

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