The resumption of foreign airlines’ flights into Iran has resulted in a significant increase in the country’s airport passenger traffic in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year, which ends in March.

Overall passenger traffic in the country’s 54 airports operated by the Iran Airports Company increased 18 per cent to reach more than 48 million, according to local media citing data from the airport operator.

Aircraft movement also rose 16 per cent while cargo volume increased by 12 per cent.

A total of 319,137 international flights flew over Iran’s airspace, some 11 per cent higher compared to the corresponding period in the previous fiscal year.

Mehrabad International in the capital Tehran remains the busiest airport, accounting for close to 29 per cent of overall passenger and aircraft movements in the country.

Iran airports data: April 2016 to January 2017
 

Passenger traffic (million)

Increase year-on-year (YoY)

Aircraft movement

Increase YoY

Airports

48

18%

387,000

16%

Mehrabad

13.8

21%

111,303

19%

Source: Iran Airports Company

Several international airlines have resumed their flights into Iran following the lifting of international nuclear-related sanctions in 2016.

They include Air France KLM, which now operates four return flights a week between Amsterdam and Tehran, and between Paris and Tehran. British Airways also began operating six direct flights a week between Heathrow airport and Tehran in September last year. Germany’s Lufthansa has resumed daily direct flights between Munich and Tehran in July 2016.

Other international airlines that have resumed flights into Iran are Thai Airways (Thailand), Air Astana (Kazakhstan) and Air Asia (Malaysia).

In August 2015, Dubai-based Emirates Airline introduced a five-times-a-week flight to Mashhad International, the country’ second busiest airport, in addition to four daily flights to Imam Khomeini International airport.

Iran has plans to develop and upgrade its key airports to accommodate rising demand and close to 200 aircraft on order from France’s Airbus and the US’ Boeing.

The Iranian government has recently signed an agreeement with France-based construction and development firm Vinci for the development of the Shahid Hashemi Nejad International airport in Mashhad.