COVID-19 slashes Iran’s airport passenger traffic by 80%

May 16, 2020 - 17:57

TEHRAN – Passenger traffic at Iranian airports was plunged by 80 percent in the first month of the current Iranian calendar year (started March 20) due to the coronavirus pandemic, IRNA reported on Saturday.

“Some 3,000 passengers were transferred at airports affiliated with Iran Airports and Air Navigation Company (IAC) [during the month of Farvardin], which shows an 80-percent decline in comparison to the same month last year,” said Hamidreza Seyyedi, the IAC deputy director for planning, supervision and economic affairs.

The pandemic also resulted in a decrease of 70 percent and 79 percent respectively in the number of flights and cargo transport, the official noted.

Widening travel curbs to contain the spread of the coronavirus prompted more flight cancellations over the past couple of months, with restrictions spanning from domestic to international travels. Many countries, including Iran, imposed travel restrictions to help curb the spread of novel coronavirus. In this line, incoming and outgoing flights have been suspended, and road travels restricted to a great extent.

Globally the number of weekly scheduled flights in mid-March was down more than 12% from a year ago, flight data provider OAG said, with many airlines having announced further cuts to come.

Optimistic forecasts expect Iran to achieve a tourism boom after coronavirus contained, believing its impact would be temporary and short-lived for a country that ranked the third fastest-growing tourism destination in 2019.

The latest available data show eight million tourists visited the country during the first ten months of the past Iranian calendar year.

AFM/MG

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