Iran increases ticket prices for international flights
Azerbaijan, Baku, May.4/ Trend F.Karimov/
Iran has increased ticket prices for international flights by 2 percent compared to prices in the past week, ISNA reported.
Last week, Iranian airlines sold tickets based on the U.S. dollar rate of 35,400 rials, but they are currently selling tickets based on the dollar rate of 36,000 rials.
Statistics show that international flight tickets fell by 20 percent in the current Iranian calendar month, which started on April 21, compared to the same period of last year.
Iranian airlines are unable to pay off their fuel debts to the Oil Ministry due to their bad financial situation, the Fars News agency quoted the head of the association of Iranian airlines, Abdolreza Mousavi, as saying.
With the rising foreign currency exchange rates and the rising fuel prices, the goal of expanding passenger seats will never be realized, he added.
Many airplanes of the national fleet have been grounded due to financial problems, he said, adding that spare parts and components are purchased from second-hand sources with great difficulties.
On January 14, Iran increased the price of fuel for international flights by 14,200 rials ($1.1) to 21,200 rials ($1.7), a triple rise within a week, The Jomhouri Eslami daily reported.
"The U.S. has been trying to ground the Iranian civil aviation industry for thirty years, but they could not. Instead, the Iranian administration grounded the industry within a week through increasing fuel prices by 14,200 rials," Mohammad Hassan Aboutorabi-Fard, deputy speaker of Iran's Majlis (parliament), commented.
The recent 60-70 percent increase in Iranian airlines ticket prices have caused a 50 percent fall in the number of passengers, Mehr News Agency said.
On January 7, many domestic flights were cancelled because the National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC) had not provided the airlines with fuel due to their outstanding debts.
NIOPDC says the airlines owe 5 trillion rials (about $410 million) to the company. The airlines believe that rising fuel prices has increased their costs up to 300 percent.