TEHRAN (FNA)- The number of foreign flights passing through the Iranian airspace increased by nearly 75 percent last month (November 22- December 22) as compared with last year’s corresponding period, Deputy CEO for Aeronautical Operations at Iran Airports Company Ebrahim Shoushtari announced on Monday.
“A sum of 28,062 flights passed through Iran’s airspace in the said period showing a 74.8 percent rise compared with the same period last year,” Shoushtari told reporters today.
He noted that the average number of daily passing flights was 935 during the said period.
In July, Iran declared readiness to open its airspace for the passing flights after Ukraine closed its airspace following the shooting down of a Malaysian plane in its sky.
Shoushtari voiced the country’s readiness to admit and allow international flights to pass through the Iranian airspace.
“After a request by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Iran voiced its readiness to allow flights from Northern Europe to the Eastern parts of Asia to pass through its airspace as an alternate route,” Shoushtari said at the time.
In August, Shoushtari said that over 20,000 flights passed through Iran’s airspace in a single month (July 21-August 22) without experiencing any security problems.
He said passing flights through the country’s airspace have increased 68 percent the said period.
Pointing to the recent developments in the region, Shoushtari said that the country saw impressive rise in number of passing flights through its airspace.
In November, officials in Tehran said Iranian aviation experts and engineers are working to increase the country’s airport facilities and equipment in a bid to attract more international corridor and transit flights by foreign airlines.
“We are consulting with international airlines in order to accommodate more transit flights through Iran’s airspace, but this needs a development of airport equipment, which is a project currently underway,” the senior Iranian aviation official told FNA.
The official pointed to the rise in the number of international corridor flights through the Iranian airspace, and said, “The foreign airlines are using Iran’s airspace due to its high safety.”
He noted that the number of foreign flights passing through the Iranian airspace hit a record on October 12 by reaching 1015 flights.
Following the Malaysian plane’s crash in Ukraine and closing the country’s airspace, he declared Iran’s readiness to admit passing flights which intend to change their route and use Iran’s aerial space.
A Malaysia Airlines’ Boeing-777 with over 290 people on board crashed in Ukraine, close to the border with Russia, on July 17.
The shooting down of a Malaysian Airlines passenger plane occurred in rebel-controlled Eastern Ukraine by unknown persons.
In mid-July, Australian airline, the Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services (QANTAS), announced that it had changed its flight path from Iraq to Iran.
QANTAS declared that it has stopped its flights using Iraqi airspace in the wake of the MH17 disaster in Ukraine to avoid using the skies over conflict regions, adding that it preferred Iran’s airspace for its regular flights.
A QANTAS spokesman said the airline had closely monitored flight paths over conflict zones since Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine two weeks ago.
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