EghtesadOnline: Iran Air will operate 100% of hajj flights to Saudi Arabia this year with its own fleet of airplanes, says deputy managing director of the Iranian flag carrier airline, Hassan Qasemi.
As per a decade-old agreement between Tehran and Riyadh, Iranian and Saudi airlines each operate half of the hajj flights every year. However, Saudi Arabia recently announced that it won't operate Iranians’ hajj flights and Iran Air is obliged to fly its own aircraft and not those it has on lease or rented to Jeddah and Medina, according to Financial Tribune.
“Not being in the know of changes, Iran Air had scheduled flights and sold tickets to European and East Asian destinations from July 4 to Sept. 8, which coincides with the hajj season’s flight operations. Under the circumstances, other Iranian airlines have agreed to transport Iran Air’s passengers on international routes over the period,” IRNA quoted Qasemi as saying.
“As many as 86,550 Iranian pilgrims will travel to Saudi Arabia for hajj pilgrimage this year. A total of 162 flights will head to Jeddah and 199 to Medina from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport, Yazd Sadouqi International Airport and Ahvaz International Airport.”
This year, according to Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami, IKIA's newly inaugurated Salaam Terminal will host hajj pilgrim flights.
Imam Khomeini International Airport’s Salaam Terminal was officially inaugurated on Tuesday morning in the presence of President Hassan Rouhani.
The new terminal, with a capacity of transporting five million passengers per year, has increased IKIA's capacity by 80%.