Sabena332
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Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Sun Jan 15, 2006 6:15 am

Currently I am planning a trip to the United Arab Emirates and Iran in March or in April. I just checked some airfares and saw that Middle Eastern Airlines like Emirates and Qatar Airways are already flying to the new Imam Khomeini Airport and not to Mehrabad Airport anymore.

Now I have three questions about the Imam Khomeini Airport:

1. Where is it located, how far away is it from the city center and Mehrabad Airport? Is there any public transportation available between these two airports? I am planning to fly on a lot of intra-Iran flights and these flights are all leaving from Mehrabad Airport, so it would be perfect when there are shuttle busses or shuttle trains which connect these airports.

2. Is the "visa on arrival" also available at Imam Khomeini Airport? As I wrote before, only airlines from the neighboring Gulf countries are flying to this airport and people who are living in these countries do usually not need a visa to enter Iran, so I am wondering if the Iranian immigration service is also offering visa on arrival service there.

3. Just out of interest, I saw that Iran Air and Mahan Air are still operating their domestic and international flights out of Mehrabad. Do the Iranian airlines (as well as all other airlines which are flying to Tehran) plan to move to Imam Khomeini Airport and will Mehrabad get closed completely eventually?

Thanks in advance for any information!

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
a300
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Sun Jan 15, 2006 8:36 am

Hello. I know both the airports well.
1) It is located in the desert 50 km SW of Tehran. The distance b/w THR and IKA is also 50 km on expressways. There are airport taxis for about 100000 IRR (EUR 10) from IKA to THR (24 hours)
2) The visa on arrival is available at both airports for trips less than 7 days. You need USD 50 and 2 passport photos. Israelis are not allowed in Iran. Canada, UK and USA cannot use the visa on arrival service (they all have recently violated Iranian sovereignty in the recent years). FRG and almost all other European nationals are allowed to use the service. FRG and France will likely be disallowed shortly (EU-3 violation of Iranian rights under NPT). I would recommend to get a visa ahead of time to avoid any problems.
3) The transition from THR to IKA is multi-phase. Eventually all international flights will be at IKA. Mehrabad Int'l Apt is very much Tehran and it will not ever close. It will handle domestic and VIP traffic. Mehrabad is also Tactical Air Base (TAB) 1 for IRIAF, IRIAA, IRGCAF fleets and will continue in that role.

I hope the info was helpful. Have fun in Iran. I am certain you will love it.
Cheers
Bahman
Boland Aseman Jayegah Man Ast.
 
vv701
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Sun Jan 15, 2006 10:40 am

Quoting A300 (Reply 1):
FRG and France will likely be disallowed shortly

I would take A300's advise and get a visa before you go. Did you not see your new Chancellor, Angela Mercle (apologies for probably incorrect spelling) 'standing shoulder to shoulder' (as BBC TV put it) with President Bush over the Iranian nuclear situation?
 
Guest

RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Sun Jan 15, 2006 11:40 am

Quoting A300 (Reply 1):
Canada, UK and USA cannot use the visa on arrival service (they all have recently violated Iranian sovereignty in the recent years).

How difficult do you think it would be for an American citizen to get the visa in advance?

Thanks!

B
 
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LTU932
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Sun Jan 15, 2006 1:51 pm

Quoting Sabena332 (Thread starter):
Just out of interest, I saw that Iran Air and Mahan Air are still operating their domestic and international flights out of Mehrabad. Do the Iranian airlines (as well as all other airlines which are flying to Tehran) plan to move to Imam Khomeini Airport and will Mehrabad get closed completely eventually?

I'm also curious about that. It seems to me that currently Imam Khomeini Airport is very much underutilised compared to the older Mehrabad Airport.
 
N1120A
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Sun Jan 15, 2006 2:09 pm

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 4):
I'm also curious about that. It seems to me that currently Imam Khomeini Airport is very much underutilised compared to the older Mehrabad Airport.

Well, first, Mehrabad is larger and more established. Second, it is actually in Tehran while IKA is out 50km away in the middle of nowhere (though they are planning on a rail link as part of Tehran's massive rail expansion). Additionally, it is difficult to connect between international and domestic flights, so many carriers are still sticking with THR. I honestly don't understand the point behind this, given that THR is not really exceeding capacity.

Quoting NonRevKing (Reply 3):
How difficult do you think it would be for an American citizen to get the visa in advance?

Actually, it is rather easy as Iran have done a lot over the past 10-15 years to encourage US tourism. I believe they will even do what Cuba does and give you the visa on a piece of paper seperate from your passport so you don't have to jump through the Treasury Department license hoops.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
a300
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Sun Jan 15, 2006 2:32 pm

To NonRevKing:
It take about a month to get a visa approved for an American. You can apply at the Iranian Interests Section in Washington, DC or the embassies in Ottawa and Mexico City.
Boland Aseman Jayegah Man Ast.
 
N1120A
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Sun Jan 15, 2006 2:36 pm

Quoting A300 (Reply 6):
You can apply at the Iranian Interests Section in Washington, DC

BTW, the Iranian Interests Section is part of the Pakistani Embassy for anyone interested. Still, it might be best to go through Mexico or Ottawa to avoid Treasury hassles
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
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LTU932
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Sun Jan 15, 2006 5:32 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 5):
Well, first, Mehrabad is larger and more established. Second, it is actually in Tehran while IKA is out 50km away in the middle of nowhere (though they are planning on a rail link as part of Tehran's massive rail expansion). Additionally, it is difficult to connect between international and domestic flights, so many carriers are still sticking with THR. I honestly don't understand the point behind this, given that THR is not really exceeding capacity.

In that case I'll rephrase my question: why was Imam Khomeini Airport built in the first place, if Mehrabad isn't exceeding capacity?
 
N1120A
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Sun Jan 15, 2006 5:41 pm

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 8):
In that case I'll rephrase my question: why was Imam Khomeini Airport built in the first place, if Mehrabad isn't exceeding capacity?

Yeah, I questioned that myself and have come up with a few possible conclusions. First, it is possible that they wanted to build a newer facility as a symbol of the capital. Second, flowing from the same idea, Iranians are really into new things, destroying 10 year old buildings to throw up something newer. In some ways it is annoying, as you get a lot of modernist stuff and nothing really gets to turn into a historical treasure (aside from a rare thing like Azadi Square). Finally, they are really into naming things after The Bearded Bastard, so the new airport gave them excuse.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
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LTU932
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Sun Jan 15, 2006 5:50 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 9):
Finally, they are really into naming things after The Bearded Bastard, so the new airport gave them excuse.

I was just thinking that myself, though if that was so, they could have renamed Mehrabad after the Ayatollah Khomeini after the Islamic Revolution or after the Ayatollah died. This reminds me of SDA in a way, the Americans renamed it Baghdad International while it was known as Saddam Hussein International during Saddam's regime, though I don't know when exactly during the Saddam regime the airport was remaned (and the current IATA code of Baghdad International still reflects that name if you look closely).
 
N1120A
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Sun Jan 15, 2006 5:55 pm

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 10):
This reminds me of SDA in a way, the Americans renamed it Baghdad International while it was known as Saddam Hussein International during Saddam's regime, though I don't know when exactly during the Saddam regime the airport was remaned (and the current IATA code of Baghdad International still reflects that name if you look closely).

I think SDA was built during Hussein's reign to replace Al Muthena

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 10):
I was just thinking that myself, though if that was so, they could have renamed Mehrabad after the Ayatollah Khomeini after the Islamic Revolution or after the Ayatollah died.

Again, has to do with liking new things. Sort of like when the new metro was built. The intersection of the first two lines was at Imam Khomeni Square
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
toddy333
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Sun Jan 15, 2006 9:28 pm

Just out of interest, I found this on Wikipedia, Imam Khomeini International Airport. "On April 29 2005, Britain and Canada warned its citizens against using the airport due to alleged safety concerns concerning the runway, which has been claimed to have been built over ancient qanats (subterranean waterways). Iranian officials countered these claims by stating that there are no safety issues and that the International Civil Aviation Organisation had inspected and approved the airport."

Does anyone have any more info on this?
 
a300
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Sun Jan 15, 2006 9:42 pm

The rumors about ghanats abound both in Iran and overseas. They inspections by ICAO and Iranian CAO have checked the runways and they are fine.
Boland Aseman Jayegah Man Ast.
 
Sabena332
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Sun Jan 15, 2006 11:27 pm

Quoting A300 (Reply 1):
I hope the info was helpful.

It was very helpful, thanks a lot for these information!

Quoting VV701 (Reply 2):
I would take A300's advise and get a visa before you go.

This is actually a very good idea. But at first I have to wait until my new passport arrives, I applied for it almost 5 weeks ago but I am still waiting for it, damned German bureaucrats.  Wink

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
a300
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:46 am

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 14):

You are welcome!
Boland Aseman Jayegah Man Ast.
 
WDBRR
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Mon Jan 16, 2006 1:02 am

Wasn't this new airport planned under the Shah and then put on hold after the Revolution? Remember reading something about this.
 
a300
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Mon Jan 16, 2006 2:49 am

IKA is as old as I am, 36. The plans were drawn up in the Imperial times and with lots of delay they were completed by the Islamic Republic. Mehrabad is a dual use airport, which is a huge problem. I remember the mid-air collision in 1993 between a Tu-154 and an IRIAF Su-24M. The area near Mehrabad is heavily populated. I remember having a drink with my cousins in a suburb called Tehransar, which is just of the Western edge of THR, when a Tu-154 flew over. It was not a comfortable sound. IKA was/is/will be necessary if the greater Tehran in to prosper.
Boland Aseman Jayegah Man Ast.
 
Sabena332
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Mon Jan 16, 2006 3:01 am

Quoting A300 (Reply 17):
The area near Mehrabad is heavily populated.

True, the approach is simply stunning as you can see in these pictures:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Sam Chui
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Sam Chui



Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
FFlyer
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Mon Jan 16, 2006 3:21 am

Just remember not to take any western magazines, or music with you. My experience; Religious Police watching me to marker hundreds of pictures with small (less than 1/2 inch) sized human characters in an aerial view of a city. We had done our own censorship in advance, but just missed that photo from a 20-page catalog. This happening in Mehrabad (hot smelly hell hole) between 2:00 am and 6:00 am wasn't particularly fun.
 
Guest

RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Mon Jan 16, 2006 5:50 am

Quoting A300 (Reply 17):
IKA is as old as I am, 36. The plans were drawn up in the Imperial times and with lots of delay they were completed by the Islamic Republic. Mehrabad is a dual use airport, which is a huge problem. I remember the mid-air collision in 1993 between a Tu-154 and an IRIAF Su-24M. The area near Mehrabad is heavily populated. I remember having a drink with my cousins in a suburb called Tehransar, which is just of the Western edge of THR, when a Tu-154 flew over. It was not a comfortable sound. IKA was/is/will be necessary if the greater Tehran in to prosper.

Thanks for the insightful and seemingly accurate information, btw. I really would like to visit in the near future, I just hope everyone is as informed as you have been! (I'm sure they will be.)

I have to mull over the possible hassles from my own country first, and talk it over with some possible travel partners. I trust I can email you with some questions some time...

Thanks again
B
 
N1120A
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Mon Jan 16, 2006 5:55 am

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 14):
I applied for it almost 5 weeks ago but I am still waiting for it, damned German bureaucrats.

Same thing happens here. Actually, one of the largest passport centers is in New Orleans, and that caused major hassles for a while after Katrina
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
a300
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Mon Jan 16, 2006 6:08 am

Quoting NonRevKing (Reply 20):
I trust I can email you with some questions some time...

Any time!
Boland Aseman Jayegah Man Ast.
 
Sabena332
Topic Author
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Mon Jan 16, 2006 6:14 am

By the way, here is an interesting trip report from an aviation enthusiasts point of view, pretty interesting for everyone who is interested in visiting Iran.

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
aussie_
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Mon Jan 16, 2006 6:49 am

I am also in the final stages of planning a trip to Iran, and I'll also be relying on Visa on arrival (I am australian citizen). There is not enough time now to get one in advance.

I am flying into IKA, as I will be flying in from DXB. I'll then have to transfer across to THR, for a few days of truly exotic flying - B707, 727, TU154 etc.

I am looking forward to it and every Iranian I have been in contact with via email appears to be so welcoming and helpful! I think they simply welcome any tourist or person with a genuine interest in them and their country.
 
Sabena332
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Mon Jan 16, 2006 7:01 am

Quoting Aussie_ (Reply 24):
for a few days of truly exotic flying - B707, 727, TU154 etc.

I am planning the same, basically I will travel to Iran to get all these old and exotic aircraft types but also to see something from the country. By the way, I hope you don't forget to book a flight on Mahan Air to DXB, currently they are flying this route with a leased TU-204.

Quoting Aussie_ (Reply 24):
every Iranian I have been in contact with via email appears to be so welcoming and helpful!

I transfered at THR on the way from DUS to BKK in 2004 and I had a rather long stay at THR airport, all people I met there were very friendly and helpful, this was actually the reason why I decided to spend more time in the country than just 3 hours between two flights.

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
WDBRR
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Mon Jan 16, 2006 8:00 am

Quoting A300 (Reply 17):
I remember having a drink with my cousins in a suburb called Tehransar, which is just of the Western edge of THR, when a Tu-154 flew over. It was not a comfortable sound. IKA was/is/will be necessary if the greater Tehran in to prosper.

You were drinking soda I hope.
 
N1120A
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Mon Jan 16, 2006 8:05 am

Quoting WDBRR (Reply 26):
Quoting A300 (Reply 17):
I remember having a drink with my cousins in a suburb called Tehransar, which is just of the Western edge of THR, when a Tu-154 flew over. It was not a comfortable sound. IKA was/is/will be necessary if the greater Tehran in to prosper.

You were drinking soda I hope.

Does it matter? It is rather easy for people to get alcohol in Iran if they want. Then again, Iranians like to socialize over tea more than anything.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
Sabena332
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Mon Jan 16, 2006 8:36 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 27):
It is rather easy for people to get alcohol in Iran if they want.

Does that only apply for locals? If not, I would appreciate when you would share your tips how and where to get booze.

I was already thinking about smuggling a bottle of booze into the country and I already had a few good ideas how it could work. Big grin

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
N1120A
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Mon Jan 16, 2006 8:40 am

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 28):
Does that only apply for locals? If not, I would appreciate when you would share your tips how and where to get booze.

Befriend some Iranians and they will invite you over. They will almost certainly have booze that was smuggled in from Turkey.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 28):
I was already thinking about smuggling a bottle of booze into the country and I already had a few good ideas how it could work.

Don't even think about it. They will bust you. Rely on locals
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
Sabena332
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:16 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 29):
Befriend some Iranians and they will invite you over. They will almost certainly have booze that was smuggled in from Turkey.

Good to know that, thanks for the tip!

Quoting N1120A (Reply 29):
Don't even think about it. They will bust you.

I have never been busted by police and customs or their ilk, I am too smart for them.  Wink

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
hz747300
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:04 am

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 30):
I have never been busted by police and customs or their ilk, I am too smart for them.

Patrick

You'll be keeping it nice and warm, eh?  Wink
Keep on truckin'...
 
BA
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Tue Jan 17, 2006 6:55 am

NonRevKing,

US citizens will soon be able to get 15-day tourist visas on arrival in Iran:
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article...._id=10&categ_id=3&article_id=21480

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
a300
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Tue Jan 17, 2006 7:19 am

Booze is easily obtained in Iran and way cheaper than here in Saudi Arabia. Drinking with my family and friends is a major bonus when I go home.
Boland Aseman Jayegah Man Ast.
 
Guest

RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Tue Jan 17, 2006 7:35 am

Quoting BA (Reply 32):
NonRevKing,

US citizens will soon be able to get 15-day tourist visas on arrival in Iran:
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article...._id=10&categ_id=3&article_id=21480

Regards

Yes! The best news I've heard all day! Thanks a hundered times!

I was just reading and calling about the visa, and it seemed like it would be such a hassle. This will make things a lot easier.

Now just to see how "easy" it would be to get photos around the airport, and get tickets on the 707!

B
 
Sabena332
Topic Author
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Tue Jan 17, 2006 7:41 am

Quoting NonRevKing (Reply 34):
and get tickets on the 707!

Getting tickets for the Saha Air 707 flights is actually a pain in the ass because you can't reserve them from outside Iran. It is pure luck, you have to go to Saha's ticket counter at THR to ask if there are any seats left, either you have luck or not. Thus I am planning a longer stay in case the 707 flights are booked out, if they are, I simply can enjoy myself on other nice aircraft like Iran Air Tours TU-154, Mahan Air TU-204, Iran Air F100, etc. until seats are available again.

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
Guest

RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Tue Jan 17, 2006 7:46 am

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 35):
I simply can enjoy myself on other nice aircraft like Iran Air Tours TU-154, Mahan Air TU-204, Iran Air F100

Yea...I wouldn't mind those either. Is there any route where one could take the 707 out and a 154 or 204 back to THR or vice versa?

Is the 707 dedicated on one route?

About how much would a walk up ticket like that cost?

B
 
Sabena332
Topic Author
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RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Tue Jan 17, 2006 7:54 am

Quoting NonRevKing (Reply 36):
Is there any route where one could take the 707 out and a 154 or 204 back to THR or vice versa?

Is the 707 dedicated on one route?

See this website for more information: http://www.cao.ir/english/timetable/wreserve2.asp

You can plan your "Iran flight schedule" very good with this site.

Quoting NonRevKing (Reply 36):
About how much would a walk up ticket like that cost?

It is rather cheap compared to European or US walk up tickets, Someone who flew THR-KIH told me that it costs approximately 65 EUR.

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
a300
Posts: 364
Joined: Sun May 09, 2004 9:24 am

RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Tue Jan 17, 2006 7:56 am

Saha B707-3J9 do THR-MHD and THR-KIH routes. Other than THR, MHD is the best palce to see all these. It is possible to fly any combination of aircraft on THR-MHD route. Try www.cao.ir website and see the domestic flights info. There are dozens of the flights on that route. Ijust did six weeks ago. Both ways were on B9 Tu-154Ms.
Boland Aseman Jayegah Man Ast.
 
Guest

RE: Questions About Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport

Tue Jan 17, 2006 9:22 am

Awesome stuff...take the 707 out, and a Kish TU154 back!

Saha has 2 flights a day right...I'm assuming both 707?

Thanks for your help guys. I don't think an American has been so excited to go to Iran!  Wink

B

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