An increasing number of foreign airlines are resuming or adding flights to their Iran networks. Expecting a big surge in the number of foreign travelers, British Airways, Air France-KLM are restarting their flights to Tehran in the spring and summer of 2016. Lufthansa and Austrian airlines have also expanded their flight networks in Iran. Lufthansa is adding a direct flight between Munich and Tehran to its existing Frankfurt Tehran flight on which it is increasing the capacity, and Austrian Airlines added a flight from Vienna to Esfahan to its previous Vienna Tehran flight. Gulf carriers like Qatar Airways, Emirates, and Etihad have also slowly increased their Iran flight network over the past few years. Meanwhile, Turkish airlines offer the most number of destinations in Iran with direct flights from Istanbul to 7 Iranian Cities.
Predictably this increase in the number of flights to Iran, along with the alliances between the mentioned airlines leads to more flexibility in making travel plans to Iran. Previously, many travelers to Iran had little choice but to book their flights directly into and out of Tehran. But now travelers can start their journeys to Iran at an increasing number of different destinations. For a journey that starts in Shiraz and ends in Tabriz, you can enter through Shiraz and leave through Tabriz.
Additionally, Iran is expanding its own domestic and international flight networks. Iran Air recently purchased more than 100 new Airbus jets and is expected to start adding them to its fleet in mid-2016. Other domestic Iranian Airlines are also modernizing and expanding their fleets without the burden of the international sanctions. With these additional planes, new routes will be introduced that will facilitate traveling domestically in Iran if you prefer to fly to your destinations in Iran.
Why Flying to and from Tehran Might Not Always Be the Best Choice
Tehran has two airports, the Mehrabad in the western part of the city exclusively serves domestic flights. The Imam Khomeini International Airport serves all international routes. This relatively new airport is located an hour southwest of Tehran. Given Tehran’s traffic, this travel time can be more than doubled at times. Furthermore, if you fly into Tehran just so that you can fly out of it after a journey, you will need to transfer from the domestic airport into Imam Khomeini International Airport.
Additionally, the Imam Khomeini Airport can get really overcrowded at times. The airport is being expanded, but for now, you could face long waits at the security and passport check lines during the busy hours at Imam Khomeini Airport.
Other international airports in other cities usually have a separate international terminal, and don’t typically deal with more than one International flight at a time. Also, they are not far away from the cities like Imam Khomeini Airport is from Tehran. If your trip itinerary doesn’t require you to arrive into Tehran and leave from Tehran, there is no need to book your trip to Iran into and out of Tehran.
It is also not always the case that the round trip to Tehran is your cheapest flight option. While Imam Khomeini Airport does have the largest international flight network in the country, you can find flights to other airports in Iran that are cheaper or not that much more expensive. Even if the flight to Tehran is less expensive, the difference in cost will in most cases be made up by the cost of domestic flights.
A good knowledge of the International flight network helps your Iran tour provider to make your trip as enjoyable as possible, without needless and redundant transits.