EghtesadOnline: Iran Airports Company registered 327,803 takeoffs and landings during the first nine months of the current Iranian year (March 21-Dec. 21), which shows a 13% decrease compared with the similar period of last year.
More than 39.45 million passengers and 396,050 tons of cargos were transported during the period, indicating a 17% and 15% decline respectively year-on-year, IAC's latest data published on its website show.
The decline in airport traffic has slightly increased compared to IAC's previous data, which registered 295,698 takeoffs and landings during the first seven months of the current Iranian year (March 21-Nov. 21), down 12% compared with the similar period of last year.
More than 35.63 million passengers and around 359,082 tons of cargo were transported during the eight-month period, indicating a 16% and 14% decline respectively year-on-year, according to Financial Tribune.
Notably, 4,589 international takeoffs and landings were registered during the Iranian month ending Dec. 22 to register a 31% decline in traffic compared with the similar period of last year.
A total of 619,385 passengers and 13,046 tons of cargo were transported to and from overseas destinations in the one-month period, posting a 35% and 25% decrease respectively year-on-year.
The latest IAC report also shows 271,263 takeoffs and landings were made by domestic flights from March 21 to Dec. 21, down 13% compared with the similar period of last year. Close to 31.19 million passengers and 237,274 tons of cargo were transported domestically, both indicating a 16% decline YOY.
On the international front, 56,540 takeoffs and landings were registered, down by 18% YOY. A total of close to 8.27 million passengers and 158,776 tons of cargo were transported to and from overseas destinations, posting an 18% and 13% decrease respectively compared with the corresponding period of last year.
Tehran’s Mehrabad International Airport was the busiest Iranian airport during the nine-month period, with 95,153 takeoffs and landings, registering a 12% fall.
More than 11.08 million passengers as well as around 76,827 tons of cargo were handled at this airport.
Mashhad International Airport was the second busiest airport with 48,304 takeoffs and landings, indicating an 18% decrease. It transported more than 7 million passengers and 68,529 tons of cargos.
Imam Khomeini International Airport registered 38,258 takeoffs and landings to register a 17% fall, while transporting over 5.86 million passengers and 112,172 tons of cargos to be ranked third on the list of Iran’s busiest airports.
Iran Airports Company is an arm of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development, which manages 54 airports across the country.
The downturn in international flights is partly attributed to the fact that international airlines wound down their businesses in Iran after the United States last May unilaterally pulled out of the nuclear deal Iran signed with world powers (including the US) back in 2015.
The withdrawal of US from JCPOA, criticized by the international community, threw a spanner in the works of Iran's burgeoning aviation sector. International airlines, which had resumed their services following the nuclear deal, pulled out of the Islamic Republic one by one.
British Airways ended its five times weekly services to Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport in August to join Air France and KLM which had previously announced their withdrawal on their respective routes from Paris CDG and Amsterdam.
The US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal name of the nuclear deal, which was followed by the reimposition of "toughest sanctions ever" on the Islamic Republic has also deteriorated the economic climate of the country. It has reduced people's purchasing power, devalued the national currency, pressured Iranian households' expenditures and made them rethink their plans to travel both internationally and domestically.