Iranian airlines are set to record losses of around Iranian rial (IRR) 30 trillion ($183mn at the free market rate, $714mn at the government rate) up to April 3 due to shutdowns caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Fars News Agency has reported the Iranian Association of Airlines as estimating.
The carriers were already haemorrhaging losses due to ongoing heavy US sanctions throttling operations.
Secretary of the Iranian Association of Airlines Masoud Asadi-Samani was cited as saying that there were presently three airlines in Iran with entirely grounded fleets due to the scrapping of domestic and international flights made necessary by efforts introduced by Iran and other countries in the battle against the pandemic.
“The number of air passengers reduced by 76% and flights by 90% during Nowruz [the Persian New Year] holidays [which ran from March 19-April 3], according to latest data released by Iran Airports Company,” he said.
Revenues of Iranian airlines have dropped by a staggering 80% in recent weeks, with only a few flights going to international destinations including the UK, Turkey and Qatar.
According to Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA), on April 5, only two flights were recorded on its rota, including a return service from London with IranAir.
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