Flying into Iran
There are many different airlines operating in many countries around the globe with flight routes to and from Iran. One of the best ways to see your options and compare the prices is looking online – Alternative Airlines and Sky Scanner both compare flight prices between different airlines travelling to Iran, including major airlines such as Air Asia, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, and Turkish Airlines. Flights from North America, Canada, Australia and England will all require a stopover due to lack of direct flights from these countries; British Airways stopped all direct flights to Iran in late 2018. Generally, dozens of flights arrive at Imam Khomeini International Airport daily, however the frequency of international flights depends on the carrier, of course.
Iran Air is the national airline of Iran, domestically known as HOMA – an acronym for Iran Air in the native language. Iran Air travels to and from many international locations in Europe and the Middle East. As a government-owned airline, alcohol isn’t served on the flights and all the staff abide by the Islamic dress code. Iran Air is not the only Iranian airline that operates internationally, however, it services the most international locations.
Also check out: Iran Flights and the US Sanctions
Domestic flights in Iran
There are over 15 different domestic Airlines in Iran, and dozens of airports all throughout the country. Iran Air does domestic flights as well as international and flies domestically to most provincial capitals in Iran. Bookings for Iran domestic flights will need to be organised through a travel agency, as direct bookings with domestic airlines require an Iranian bank card.
Also check out: Iran Domestic Flights Baggage Allowance
Flight Safety in Iran
Many airlines operate domestically in Iran, and most of the time these flights run without any issue, except for the occasional delay. However, due to US sanctions limiting Iran’s ability to upgrade the existing fleet and purchase spare parts, Iran has some of the oldest passenger planes in the world. With such limited resources when it comes to aircraft repairs and maintenance, Iran has suffered several aviation accidents over recent years. This is not to say that flying in Iran should be avoided – many people travel around Iran by plane, whether for business or leisure – however, some people may consider doing a little research when booking a ticket and avoiding flights that are using older plane models.
Also check out: How to Book Domestic Flights in Iran
Airports in Iran
There are dozens of airports in Iran; however, only 13 of them accept international flights. Imam Khomeini International Airport, in Tehran, is the only airport that exclusively runs international flights; domestic flights to and from Tehran run from Mehrabad Airport. 4 of the major international airports are located in Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan, and Mashhad.
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Getting an Iran Visa
Of course, to enter Iran you will need to fulfil visa requirements – some nationalities are exempt, but if you’re from an English-speaking country you will need to apply for an Iran visa. This can be done one of two ways: Iran visa on arrival or organising a visa online (e-visa) before you go. Both methods are quite straightforward, however, the visa on arrival is slightly pricier, so bear this in mind if travelling on a budget! Applying for an e-visa can take a bit of time, so it’s important to start the process several weeks before your planned departure date – urgent visa applications are available for last-minute travel arrangements, but naturally comes at a higher cost.