EghtesadOnline: The newly-inaugurated Salaam Terminal at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport officially launched its first flight on Saturday at 8 a.m. to Dubai, the UAE.
Hassan Khoshkhou, an official with IKIA, told Fars News Agency, that Salaam Terminal will operate a flight to Dubai daily.
“The plane transported 200 people, including passengers and the flight crew,” he said.
Salaam Terminal is Iran’s first smart terminal designed by domestic experts and designers. The terminal has a capacity of transporting 5 million passengers per year. It was officially inaugurated last week in the presence of President Hassan Rouhani and Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami.
The new terminal has increased IKIA's overall capacity by 80%, according to Financial Tribune.
The construction of the new terminal started 10 years ago in the fiscal 2009-10 in collaboration with Imam Khomeini Airport City Company and Mostazafan Foundation.
He added that all the hajj pilgrimage flights at IKIA to Saudi Arabia this fiscal year (started March 21) will be operated from Salaam Terminal.
Iranian flag carrier airline company Iran Air will operate all the hajj flights this year with its own fleet of airplanes.
As per a decades-old agreement between Tehran and Riyadh, Iranian and Saudi airlines each operated 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.
As many as 86,550 Iranian pilgrims will travel to Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage this year.
According to Deputy Managing Director of Iran Air Hassan Qasemi, airports in the cities of Ahvaz, Yazd, Rasht, Birjand, Isfahan, Bandar Abbas, Bushehr, Gorgan, Sari, Kerman, Tabriz, Mashhad, Zahedan, Urmia, Kermanshah and Shiraz will also operate hajj pilgrim flights along with IKAC’s Salaam Terminal.
Third Terminal on the Agenda
IKIA authorities have placed the construction of a third terminal at the airport on the agenda.
Iranshahr Terminal’s first phase is expected to be completed in the next five years with a capacity of transporting 25 million passengers per year. The final phase has been planned for transporting 110 million passengers annually.
Imam Khomeini International Airport registered 47,446 takeoffs and landings in the last Iranian fiscal year (ended March 20, 2019) to register a 19% decline.
More than 7.27 million passengers and around 141,704 tons of cargos were transported from the airport during the period to rank third on the list of Iran’s busiest airports. The figures show a 19% and 14% YOY decline respectively.
IKIA has the biggest share of international flights operated in Iran.
Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport has been distinguished as the third fastest-growing airport in the world.
A study by Routes Online shows the airport grew in terms of passenger numbers by 48.6% during the first half of 2018 to 3.93 million, helped by Ata Airlines, following the rise in frequencies to Istanbul Ataturk.
Operated by Iran Airports Company, IKIA is located 30 kilometers southwest of Iran's capital city Tehran.