EghtesadOnline: A memorandum of understanding has been signed between Maku Free Trade Zone and Arvand Airlines on Monday for the company to fly between the FTZ and the two Iranian major cities of Tehran and Mashhad.
The airline will have one flight each on the routes daily.
“The new flights are scheduled to be carried out as of Sept. 6. We are also planning to operate flights between Maku and Istanbul in the near future to facilitate the travel of businesspeople and investors from Turkey,” CEO of Maku FTZ Gholamreza Soleimani was quoted as saying by IRNA.
At present, he added, Sepehran Airlines operates four flights from Maku to Tehran and back, four days a week, according to Financial Tribune.
The construction of Maku Airport started in June 2014, with the aim of expanding the FTZ’s economic activities following the removal of international sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.
“The airport equipment meet the latest international standards and draw on advanced technologies. Maku Airport is one of the most modern airports in Iran. It has been built on a 400-hectare plot, 200 hectares of which are dedicated to flight areas,” former CEO of Maku FTZ, Hossein Firouzan, told Financial Tribune in January.
The first test flight took off from the airport in January 2016 and the first official flight was conducted in March 2017.
Maku Free Trade Zone is one of Iran’s lesser known transit points located in the northwest of the country.
With just over 20 kilometers (13 miles) from the Turkish border and surrounded by mountains, the FTZ has one of the best trading advantages.
The small town is separated by Zangmar River that passes through West Azarbaijan Province. The designated zone is spread over 5,000 square kilometers–the largest Iranian free zone to date. The local population includes both Azeri- and Kurdish-speaking people who also speak Persian.
Maku, like many other free zones in Iran, enjoys a multitude of advantages, including customs and duty discounts on all goods, visa facilities for foreigners and ease of credit for foreign business.
Advantages include a 100% exemption on tax revenues and land possession for 20 years (which period can be extended), customs duty exemption for imports of machinery and raw materials, and customs exemption for exporting goods produced in the FTZ to the mainland.