Intl. airlines using Iranian space despite US ban

TEHRAN, Jul. 04 (MNA) – Flights over Iranian airspace in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman have increased and reached a 'normal level' of 840 flights per day, a senior Iranian aviation official said.

Iran Airports and Air Navigation Company head Siavash Amir Mokri said on Thursday that the major international airlines have been returning to skies south of the country after a brief hiatus caused by an Iran-US military escalation in the region.

According to Mokri, the normalization of commercial flights in the area comes despite the June 21 Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) issued by the US Federal Aviation Administration restricting flights over Iran after the Islamic Republic shot down an intruding American drone which officials said had violated the country’s airspace above the Persian Gulf waters.

The aviation official said commercial carriers restored their flights in the area amid economic considerations and after observing that security in the Persian Gulf had improved.

"That tension is gone and airline companies have understood that the country's airspace is still safe," Mokri said.

Iran has filed a complaint with the International Civil Aviation Organization over the FFA NOTAM amid losses to the country's overflight fee revenue. According to Mokri, Iran's overflight fees reached $180 million during the year ending March 2019, serving as an important source of government revenue.

Multiple commercial carriers including United Airlines, KLM, British Airways, Lufthansa, Etihad, Saudi Airlines, Qantas and Malaysian Airlines altered their flight paths last month to follow the FAA instructions and stop to use the Iranian airspace.

MNA/4656719

News Code 147210

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