EghtesadOnline: Atotal of 2,374,344 passengers (2,105,375 Iranians and 268,969 foreign nationals) arrived in Iran during the eight months to Nov. 20, indicating an 85.35% decline compared with the corresponding period of last year, says Arezoo Ghanniyun, an official with the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.
She added that outbound passenger traffic also decreased by 85.16% to reach 2,295,091 during the period.
“Closure of borders, business suspension, leisure, religious trips and strict quarantine measures taken to contain the transmission of Covid-19 caused the dramatic decline in passenger traffic,” she was quoted as saying by IRIB News.
“The 85% fall in both inbound and outbound passengers accounts for 13 million people. Airports in the cities of Sari, Kermanshah, Zahedan, Ahvaz and Yazd, whose international flights chiefly include religious travels, saw zero percent passenger traffic. Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport, which is the country’s most important airport in terms of passenger traffic, saw a 92% decrease in passengers during the period.”
Imam Khomeini International Airport City Company has received 2,000 billion rials ($7.84 million) in coronavirus loans at the lending rate of 12%, says Mohammad Mehdi Karbalaei, the airport’s managing director.
“The government-backed financial assistance package was supposed to be paid to transportation companies hit hard by the pandemic, but IKIA was found eligible to receive these loans due to the sharp decline in its revenues. Following the Ukraine plane crash and the outbreak of coronavirus, IKIA revenues slumped by 85% from last year’s 7,000 billion rials [$27.45 million],” he was quoted as saying by Fars News Agency.
Asked about latest statistics on airport traffic, the official said, “Passenger traffic dropped by 91% over nine months to Dec. 20 and the number of flights declined by 81% over the period. Only during the first Iranian month ending April 19, the airport saw a 97% decline in the number of flights and a 90% decrease in the number of passengers. Under normal circumstances, more than 250 airplanes would have landed and taken off from IKIA daily but now the number of flights has slid to 30.”
Karbalaei noted that only five flights were operated from IKIA in the first month of the current year.