Turkish Airlines launches Tabriz-Ankara flights

November 1, 2021 - 16:5

TEHRAN –Turkey’s flag carrier Turkish Airlines has launched flights from the capital city of Ankara to the Iranian city of Tabriz, northwestern East Azarbaijan province.

The round-trip service made its debut on Sunday, the provincial tourism chief has announced.

“There will be direct flights between Tabriz and Ankara every Sunday, and it is hoped that more flights will be offered to facilitate tourism interaction between the two cities, CHTN quoted Ahmad Hamzezadeh as saying on Monday.

Since tourism activists suffered a great deal during the Covid-19 outbreak, the province’s cultural heritage department will try to set up facilities and facilitate the activities of activists in this field to ensure the resurgence of this industry, the official added.

The pandemic has taken a huge toll on Iran’s civil aviation sector with reports showing that airlines lost hundreds of millions of dollars because of flight cancellations during the busy New Year travel season in late March.

Back in May, Arezou Ghaniun, an official with the Islamic Republic of Iran's Customs Administration, announced that the average of international travels to and from Iran fell by 80 percent during the past Iranian calendar year 1399 (ended on March 20, 2021) from a year earlier.

“During this period, 4,343,163 passengers entered the country, which included 3,030,464 Iranian passengers and 512,699 international travelers,” she noted.

“From the beginning of 1399 to the end of it, we saw a significant reduction in passenger traffic to the country or vice versa in land, sea, rail and air borders, which were caused by various coronavirus restrictions.”

International tourist arrivals to Iran plunged 72% during the first eight months of the year when compared to 2019, according to data compiled by the World Tourism Organization. Restrictions on travel introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic continue to hit global tourism hard, with the latest data from the UNWTO showing a 70% fall in international arrivals for the first eight months of 2020.

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

The Islamic Republic expects to reap a bonanza from its numerous tourist spots such as bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, bathhouses, madrasas, mausoleums, churches, towers, and mansions, of which 24 are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Under the 2025 Tourism Vision Plan, Iran aims to increase the number of tourist arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million in 2025.

ABU/MG

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