Today, Air Astana became the latest carrier to commence new operations to Iran with its 3 weekly flights from Almaty in Kazakhstan to Tehran. The route is in addition operated twice a week by Mahan Air since a few years. With the addition of Air Astana, Tehran Imam Khomeini Airport (IKIA) is now served by 9 domestic and 41 foreign passenger airlines, the newly appointed Deputy Director of Administrative Affairs in the Tehran Imam Khomeini Airport City (IKAC) Kourosh Fatahi announced.
Air Astana will operate 3 weekly flights out of Tehran and we hope to increase the flights from Tehran to the world to develop new international relations with different countries, he said at the inagural ceremony of Air Astana’s first flight.
In an interview with the Ministry of Roads and Urban Developments, Fatahi continued and added: “Fortunately, very good plans for the development of IKAC have been issued. Last year we saw 7 million passengers, and this year we expect to surpass 8 million”. IKIA is currently operating with one terminal and about double of the durable capacity of 5 million passengers a year. Handling an airport with double the capacity is a mission every day for the workers, but things are set to improve when the Salam Terminal with additional capacity of 5 million passengers opens in May 2017, 13 months later than planned.
The development of the Salam Terminal has slowed down, but not stopped as some stated, due to the shortage of financial resources. The problem has yet not been solved, but IKAC is still in efforts to acquire the needed 300 billion rials. The Minister of Roads and Urban Developments Abbas Akhoundi stated two weeks ago that the Salam Terminal, originally planned to serve pilgrimages, will be open to all kind of operations.
IKAC’s second terminal project for IKIA is the Iranshahr Terminal which is set to open in 2-3 years will boost the annual passenger capacity from 5 to 30 million. Currently, the Dutch company NACO which has been granted the first phase of the Iranshahr Terminal is studying and designing the new terminal. When the Iranshahr Terminal has been completed, IKAC expects it to handle some 20 million passengers a year.
Photo: Iran’s Ministry of Roads and Urban Developments