EghtesadOnline: Domestic passenger traffic in Iranian airports registered a year-on-year growth of 13% during the current fiscal year’s first eight months (March 21-Nov. 21), as 17.19 million passengers were flown internally by Iranian airlines during the period.
Data released by Iran Airports Company also show takeoffs and landings posted a 27% YOY growth to 209,334.
Over 139.83 million tons of cargos were shipped during the period under review, marking a 25% year-on-year growth.
Tehran's Mehrabad International Airport accounted for 6.62 million of the total number of passengers, 7% more than in the corresponding period of last year.
Mashhad International Airport and Shiraz International Airport followed with 2.78 million and 1.18 million passengers respectively.
Mehrabad handled 78,763 landings and takeoffs during the period, considerably higher than other Iranian airports.
IAC data also indicate a 52% growth in the total number of foreign flights passing through Iranian airspace during the eight months under review.
A total of 97,664 foreign flights flew over Iran's airspace during the period, which figure was 64,187 in the corresponding period of last year.
The IAC data do not include figures on Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport, which account for the largest number of international flights operated to/from Iran.
During Oct. 23-Nov. 21, a total of 2.75 million passengers were transported by Iranian airlines on domestic routes to register a 72% growth year-on-year.
Takeoffs and landings posted a 16% growth to reach 27,267.
Over 23.01 million tons of cargos were handled during the same period, 70% more than the previous year's 13.52 million tons.
Mehrabad International Airport accounted for 1.06 million of the total number of passengers, 67% higher than the same period of last year.
Mashhad International Airport and Shiraz International Airport followed with 477,435 and 182,648 passengers, respectively.
Mehrabad handled 10,238 landings and takeoffs during the period, considerably higher than other Iranian airports.
Iranian airlines operated a total of 792 flights from Tehran to Mashhad during the month to Nov. 21, transporting 101,368 passengers. The Mashhad-Tehran route topped the list of most travelled air routes.
A total of 104,300 passengers were flown from Mashhad to Tehran during the month under review via 790 direct flights.
Tehran-Kish route followed with the highest number of monthly flights, followed by Shiraz-Tehran and Tehran-Ahvaz.
A 38% rise was registered in the total number of foreign flights using Iranian airspace during the month ending Nov. 21.
A record high of 16,670 foreign flights flew over Iran's airspace during the month, which figure stood at 12,068 during the same period of the year before.
The record comes as the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has lifted an advisory notice that warned against flying commercial planes over Iran’s airspace for “safety reasons”, Siavosh Amirmokri, the head of the Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) of Iran, said on Oct. 30.
To remove the nearly two-year restriction, CAO and Iran Airports Company had engaged in negotiations with European airlines, the region’s aviation authorities as well as EASA, Amirmokri said.
EASA started warning against Iran overflights in January 2020 after the country came close to a confrontation with the United States following a drone strike by the US military that killed a top Iranian general in neighboring Iraq. The notice was issued after Iran fired missiles against US forces stationed in Iraq. EASA’s measure, which had applied to flights below an altitude of 25,000 feet, was extended in July.
IAC was established in 1988 for constructing, maintaining and administering airports across the country, as an affiliate of the Civil Aviation Organization of Iran. In 1994, the Supreme Council of Administrative Affairs delegated all administrative and executive responsibilities to Iran Airports Company in line with the delineated transportation strategies.
Since 2004, Iran Airport Company has been a corporate holding company with financial independence. It functions as an affiliate of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development, based on regulations and rules governing state-owned companies. Its headquarters are located at Tehran's Mehrabad International Airport and it has offices at all airports in Iran.
Full Capacity as of Nov. 22
The Health Ministry issued a new directive relaxing restrictions on passenger transportation over Covid-19 as of Nov. 22.
As per the directive, airplanes will be allowed to utilize 100% of their passenger capacity, up from 60% in the wake of the pandemic.
Passenger ships, buses and trains will be allowed to use 80% of their capacities.
“After 80% of the population are vaccinated, marine, rail and road transportation can also be operated at full capacity,” reads the directive as reported by Mehr News Agency.
Shahram Adamnejad, deputy roads minister for transportation, communicated the directive to the Civil Aviation Organization, the Ports and Maritime Organization and Iran Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization.
For domestic flights, passengers need to carry either their vaccination card or a negative PRC test result (taken within 72 hours before takeoff). For international flights, passengers need both these documents with a negative PCR test taken within 96 hours before takeoff.
For road travels, there is a need for either a negative PCR test taken within two hours before departure or a vaccination card.
To be able to travel domestically on a vessel, passengers need either a vaccination card or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure. For international marine journeys, passengers are required to have both their vaccination card and a negative PCR test taken within 96 hours before departure.
Passengers traveling by trains also need to have vaccination cards as well as their negative PCR test results (taken within 72 hours before departure).
The directive mandates social distancing during boarding and disembarking in order to prevent crowding.
Iranian passengers who plan to fly abroad are advised to apply for digital vaccination card issued by the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, according to an official with the Health Ministry.
“The only valid certificate of Covid-19 vaccination in Iran is the digital card issued at Salamat.gov.ir by the Ministry of Health and Medical Education,” Ali Sharifi Zarchi was quoted as saying by IRNA.
Passengers are advised to apply for a digital vaccine card at least two weeks before their departure by visiting Salamat.gov.ir website.
As of Nov. 23, only vaccinated people or those carrying negative PCR test result are permitted to travel, according to the head of Transport Safety Regulation Codification and Passive Defense Center affiliated with the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development.
“A system called ‘Omid’ will soon come online, through which all passengers will be monitored and unless they have been vaccinated or carry a negative PCR test result, they will not be allowed to travel using public transportation,” Reza Nafisi was also quoted as saying by the news portal of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture.
Sharifi noted that the Omid system will provide access to information on whether a passenger has the Covid-19 or is suspicious of being infected, which will help break the contagion cycle more effectively.
The new regulation applies to the twice vaccinated as well as those who have only received their first dose for the time being, provided that the former is not past the due date for their second round of vaccination.
Nafisi noted that in the near future, regulations will become stricter, meaning that only people who have received two doses of vaccine will be given permission to travel.