Talks Underway for Return of German , Austrian Airlines to Iran
IRAN NEWS ECONOMIC DESK
TEHRAN – The CEO of Imam Khomeini Airport City (IKAC) says talks are underway with German and Austrian flag carriers Lufthansa and Austrian to resume their flights to Iran as soon as possible.
Speaking to IRNA, Mr. Mohammad Mahdi Karbalaei said that the number of flights to Imam Khomeini Airport (IKA) has tripled in recent months comparing to the early months of the current year and it is expected to grow more in upcoming months.
He said since the outbreak of the Coronavirus in Iran and the world, international travels and flights had almost been halted due to the closure of borders, and the number of flights declined significantly and most international flights in the world were almost closed.
He added that in late March and early April of this year and exactly one month after the outbreak of the virus in Iran, the number of arrival and departure flights in the Imam Khomeini Airport decreased by 95 percent but after some months and taking some measures, observing the health protocols and also the demand of the international community for trade ties, the number of flights gradually increased.
Karbalaei further said that according to the statistics, the number of flights has currently been tripled comparing to the early months of the year, admitting that the number of current flights accounts for 10 percent of flights before the pandemic broke out and it is still a long way to back to normal situation.
He admitted that the current issue of decline in flights is universal and it has had negative impact on the world air industry in a way that all major international airports in the world are currently facing with serious economic challenges and most of airlines are facing bankruptcy.
He said but the whole IKAC body as well as domestic and foreign airlines did cooperate to restore flights by observing all health protocols to avoid hurting passengers’ health.
On resumption of flights of foreign airlines to Iran, he said since the outbreak of the virus, talks with airlines have been underway several times in order to assure them of observance of health protocols at Imam Khomeini Airport, noting that currently Qatar Airways, Emirates, and Turkish Air have restored their flights to Imam Khomeini Airport and last week talks with officials of Germany’s Lufthansa and Austria’s Austrian airlines began for resumption of talks.
Karbalaei admitted that the economy of airport city has seriously affected by the virus, saying that city airport is administered through two ways of aviation and non-aviation revenues. He added that currently due to the global crisis in air industry, the city is working to develop its economic sector and focusing on the special economic zone of IKAC.
He said that attention to the surge in production and boom in the zone through offering services to investors, producers and traders as well as developing ways of commercial revenues are of the major programs of the city.
On the probable rise in the air ticket fare, he said that the company has currently no intention for increasing the price of services at the airport, and the current prices are the same.