Emirates Resumes Flights to Tehran After Six Months

  • Starting today, there will be one daily flight of Emirates Airlines on the Tehran-Dubai route.
  • Iran is assuring European and other countries of the safety of its airspace.
  • Some airlines canceled or rerouted their flights to Iran after the shooting down of PS752.

After a six-month termination, Emirates Airlines resumed flights to Tehran, and this morning the first flight landed at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport. Mohammad Reza Karimian, Vice President of Airport Operations at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport City Company, announced the news.

Emirates is an airline based in Garhoud, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Emirates is the world’s fourth largest airline by scheduled revenue passenger-kilometers flown, and the second-largest in terms of freight tonne kilometers flown.

According to Mr. Karimian, starting today, there will be one daily flight of Emirates Airlines on the Tehran-Dubai route. Emirates Airlines has also announced that it will resume flights to Guangzhou, Addis Ababa, and Oslo, with the new cities reaching a total of 62 destinations.

Emirates Airlines suspended its flights to Tehran in mid-March last year due to the spread of the Coronavirus in Iran.

Safety of the Iranian Skies

Despite the resumption of foreign flights to Tehran, the issue of Iran’s airspace safety is still one of the issues that have plagued Iran’s aviation industry since the downing of a Ukrainian airliner.

“Negotiations have been held with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, and some European countries to address concerns and reassure the safety of the Iranian airspace,” Iran’s state-run IRNA quoted CAO Deputy Director Morteza Dehghan as saying of Friday.

He added, “the return of international airlines to Iran after the crisis caused by Coronavirus is a sign of positive, safety and security measures implemented in Iranian airports.”

The European Aviation Safety Agency warned yesterday that passenger planes flying over Iran face the risk of being fired on by the country’s air defenses due to “misidentification.”

The organization said today that “there is a risk of civilian aircraft being misidentified due to the dangerous security situation, and poor coordination between the military operations and civil aviation departments.”

According to the Iranian Airports and Air Navigation Company, the country intends to encourage foreign airlines to fly over its skies by offering packages. It is said that the international airline, from which Iran earns the most revenue through transit flights, is included in these packages.

There are also “discounts” for foreign airlines that increase their use of Iran’s skies by 20 percent or maintain this passage. Iran is currently competing with some countries in the region to earn more money through overhead flights.

Nasser Aghaei, General Manager of the Commercial and Investment Office of Iran Airports and Air Navigation Company, told IRNA, “we intend to increase the motivation and desire of foreign airlines to use Iran’s airspace by providing incentive packages, and this means reducing tariff for transit flights.”

Iran Airports and Air Navigation Company said that flights passing through Iran in April this year, compared to the same month last year, has decreased by about 85%. In April of this year, the number of transit flights has been announced as 5,162.

Foreign exchange income for foreign flights over Iran is calculated based on the weight of the aircraft and the distance traveled within the country’s airspace. The cost for each ton of aircraft weight is $4,000 per kilometer.

Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 (PS752) was a scheduled international passenger flight from Tehran to Kiev operated by Ukraine International Airlines, or UIA. On 8 January 2020, the Boeing 737-800 operating the route was shot down shortly after takeoff from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran, which attributed it to human error.

In recent years, in some cases, Iran’s air traffic has increased. For example, at a time when Qatar’s relations with Saudi Arabia were strained, its airlines were banned from using Saudi airspace. This replacement of the route led to an increase in air traffic in Iran.

One of the events that reduced Iran’s air traffic before the coronavirus outbreak in the world was the downing of a Ukrainian plane by the Revolutionary Guards in January last year, following which some airlines canceled or rerouted their flights to Iran.

Some of the families of the victims of the downed Ukrainian plane have petitioned foreign countries to stop flying over Iran until the authorities of the Islamic Republic cooperate in this case.

Iran Airports and Air Navigation Company has announced the annual revenue of Iran from transit flights about 1.8 trillion tomans per year.

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Benedict Kasigara

I have been working as a freelance editor/writer since 2006. My specialist subject is film and television having worked for over 10 years from 2005 during which time I was the editor of the BFI Film and Television.

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