IranAir operates Mashhad-Damascus flights devoted to pilgrims

March 6, 2022 - 19:19

TEHRAN – On Sunday, Iran’s flag carrier IranAir began its new service dedicated to pilgrims visiting Syria from the holy city of Mashhad where the shrine of Imam Reza (AS) is located.

“The first direct flight to transfer pilgrims from Mashhad to Syria was operated today by the Airline of the Islamic Republic of Iran, branded as IranAir,” ISNA quoted a local official as saying on Sunday.

The service will be running through March 31 for applicants willing to visit Syrian shrines, the official added.

Last November, Tehran and Damascus discussed ways to facilitate tourism and pilgrimage, which was frozen in war years.

As a result of the Syrian War, which began in 2011, tourism in Syria has greatly declined, even though Syria has some of the oldest cities in West Asia, such as Damascus and Aleppo (a UNESCO World Heritage Site).

Before the Syrian Civil War, 8.5 million tourists visited Syria in 2010, generating revenue of $8.4 billion and contributing 14% to the national economy. Tourist numbers had decreased by more than 98% by 2015.