33 Foreign Airlines Active in Iran

33 Foreign Airlines Active in Iran33 Foreign Airlines Active in Iran

Iran is being praised by foreign airlines, the Civil Aviation Organization announced. Currently, there are 33 foreign airlines operating flights in the country, having carried a total of 3 million passengers last year.

It is the safety of the Iranian skies that has won the praise of the airlines, Iran newspaper reported.  The safety of the Iranian air space is in spite of the increase in the number of flights re-routing through Iran, mainly attributed to the current unrest in the region especially in Iraq.  Many flights from the Persian Gulf region as well as a few from the East Asian countries have re-routed through Iran. Although many airlines including British Airways, Lufthansa, Emirates, the Dutch airlines and the French airlines have ceased operations through Iraq for security reasons.

Other factors include the Malaysian Airlines crash in Ukraine, which has raised concerns over flying through that country, and led to some airlines opting to re-route through Iran. Iran, considered a safe country in the region, currently has 950 flights passing through it in a 24 hour period, a record in aviation history. Figures show that income from flights reached $120 million for Iran, a figure that is estimated will double in the current Iranian calendar year (started March 21).  

  Lucrative Market

In addition to Iran being considered a safe transit route by foreign airlines, it is also considered as a choice stopover destination, Mohammad Khodakarami, a National Aviation Organization senior official said. This coincides with Iran becoming a more popular destination for both international holidaymakers as well as pilgrims, he added.

The Aviation Organization has issued 45,000 flight licenses during the first half of the year, which is up by 10% compared to the same period last year.

Last year, 43 million people passed through the country’s airports, of which 9 million were passengers of foreign airlines.

In the last few years, some seven foreign airlines ceased operations to Iran altogether with some operating fewer flights.  This appears to have been partly due to the airlines own financial problems, Khodakarami said, adding there has recently been some optimistic moves to resume flights.

Currently all the larger international airlines operate flights to Iran, the official asserted.

“New offers are also on the table. Germania Airline, for example, has opted for four weekly direct flights between Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Berlin and Tehran and Mashhad”, he said.  Khodakarami believes Iran to be “a lucrative market for foreign airlines”, which he welcomed, but added that the Civil Aviation Organization remains committed to local carriers, and will ensure that the interests of both domestic as well as foreign interests are met.