By: Dr. Mahya Karbalaii
Recent conflicts in Ukraine and MENA region has created more business for Iran Airport Company (IAC) as more flights prefer to take a route over the safe sky of Iran. To offer more services and take advantage, Iran needs to upgrade her aviation equipment.
The CEO of Iran Airports Company (IAC), Rahmatollah Mahabadi, said: “At the moment, all airports under our ownership operate at a loss and perhaps only Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA) can be considered an exception. Even Mehrabad Airport which handles 30% of the nation’s flights is operating at a loss”.
Based on IAC’s data, before the security concerns in the region around 450 flights passed over Iranian airspace. However, in recent years due to the situation in the neighboring countries, Iran’s air traffic has experienced 70% growth.
The IAC has thus succeeded in creating 70 thousand kilometers of new airways including 5 domestic and 14 international routes, reaching 1000 passing flights daily. 60% of passing flights over the country operate on the coast of the Persian Gulf towards Turkey and Europe.
The IAC has planned to guide all flights in Iranian airspace via satellite in the next five years. The company requires $250m in investment in order to renew its radar equipment.
Mr Mahabadi believes that not allocating the resources correctly, IAC is facing challenges in the development of airport structures. As an example, he refers to their share of flight ticket prices: “Navigation expenses take up only 3% of the ticket price while some organizations such as the municipalities, who do not provide any services to the airports, receive 5% taxes off of ticket prices.”
The IAC intends to increase its income via tariff liberalization without causing a considerable increase in ticket prices.
Source: Iran Airports Company Official Reports