TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - “Today, Iran has been selected [by airliners] as the most secure air corridor in the region,” Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili, the commander of Iran’s Air Defense Force said.
He then said over 700,000 international flights overall carrying over 50 million passengers had crossed Iran’s skies over the past Iranian calendar (started on March 21, 2016).
Official figures show around 450 planes crossed Iran’s skies every day in 2014.
However, the insurgency that Daesh militants waged in Iraq as well as the conflict in Ukraine pushed the number up to as high as 900 planes per day the next year, marking an increase of 100 percent.
The diplomatic crisis between Qatar and Saudi Arabia and its allies forced the tiny Persian Gulf state to use Iran’s airspace for its international flights.
Accordingly, officials said this introduced an increase of 20 percent in Iran’s air traffic.
The rise in Qatar’s use of Iran’s airspace has also provided the Islamic Republic with extra air transportation fee revenues. To the same effect, the domestic media said Iran was entitled to at least $13 million per month in air traffic fees.
In June, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, and the UAE closed their airspace to the Qatari planes after they cut diplomatic ties with the country, accusing the latter of supporting terrorism.