EghtesadOnline: Turkey has suspended flights to and from Iran and Afghanistan on Sunday morning amid the resurgenge of coronavirus, Reza Jafarzadeh, the spokesperson of Iran Civil Aviation Organization, told Fars News Agency.
Turkey had gradually restarted international flights as of June 11, as it eased lockdown measures, Daily Sabah reported.
Iran has been hardest hit by the pandemic in the Middle East, with infections and deaths rising sharply since restrictions were eased, beginning in mid-April.
The border between Turkey and Iran, which was closed after the outbreak, has only reopened for trade.
According to Spokesman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration Rouhollah Latifi, Iran's Razi and Bazagan rail border crossings with Turkey are active and bilateral trade is taking place through the two countries’ rail connections.
The chairman of Iran-Turkey Chamber of Commerce recently said land and rail borders with the neighboring country are open for trade, but each country only allows the entry of its own citizens.
On Feb. 23, Turkey closed its land borders with Iran and suspended all incoming flights from the country to stem the tide of the coronavirus.
Three border crossings of Razi, Esendere (Serow) and Bazargan remained closed until June 4.
“At present, the three border crossings are open round-the-clock but the traffic is slow and the average waiting time for trucks carrying Iranian products to Turkey and Europe is higher at Bazargan due to the strict supervision and monitoring of the Turkish government,” Sa’adat Dehqan, chairman of Iran-Turkey Chamber of Commerce, was recently quoted as saying by Otaghiranonline.ir.
“Transportation is only possible by rail at Razi border checkpoint, Iran’s sole rail connection with the neighboring country. In addition, Turkish citizens are allowed to pass through Serow border-crossing. Exports to Turkey and European countries through transshipment has become normal.”
During their meeting in Istanbul in mid-June, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said the two countries were working toward reopening their borders for travelers.
On July 19, IranAir, Meraj Airlines and Iran Airtour Airlines were scheduled to resume flights between the two countries as of July 13 and Turkey had only permitted the entry of passengers having Turkish citizenship, permanent residency or a valid work visa.
Earlier, Jafarzadeh said Turkey has not reopened its borders for Iranian tourists; only Turkish citizens and those who hold work visas are allowed to travel to the neighboring country.
“Therefore, the sale of travel, tour, transportation and accommodation services to the general public before flights are permitted to resume is unlawful,” he was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
“Airlines must have adequate control over ticket sales. They are only allowed to sell ticket after securing flight permits to foreign countries. Passengers are also advised to check the flight status at Cao.ir before purchasing tours or tickets.”