It’s been an intense week for flights in and around Iran and Iraq. As security concerns have increased in the area, many airlines have been opting to avoid the region.
In fact, data from analysis by travel data and analytics expert Cirium estimates that over 1,000 passenger flights are being affected by the tensions per week. This, in turn, is affecting tens of thousands of passengers, traveling with approximately 40 airlines.
This has partly come about as a result of a Ukrainian Boeing 737 crashing shortly after departing Tehran earlier this week. According to Cirium, 16 major airlines had flights scheduled to the two respective countries. However, in January so far 1,002 flights have been operated to Iran or Iraq, by 37 airlines. Let’s take a look at the top 10 international airlines serving Iraq and Iran per number of flights.
1. Turkish Airlines
Of Cirium’s major airlines flying to Iraq and Iran, Turkish Airlines operates the most flights per week. In fact, the airline operates 110 flights to the two nations per week. 51 flights operate to Iran each week serving Tehran, Esfahan, Mashhad, Shiraz, and Tabriz. The remaining 59 flights serve Iraqi cities including Baghdad, Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, Basra, and Al Najaf.
2. Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways operates just one flight less than Turkish Airlines per week at 109 flights. Baghdad in Iraq is the most popular destination with 21 flights per week. Tehran is second with 20 flights per week. 16 more flights serve the Iranian cities of Mashhad, Shiraz, and Isfahan. Meanwhile, the remaining flights to Iraq serve Erbil, Al Najaf, Basra, and Sulaymaniyah.
Dubai’s low-cost carrier operates 49 flights per week to the two countries. The LCC operates more flights to Iraq, with 30 flights as opposed to 19 to Iran. Basra gets the most flights at 9 per week, while Mashad gets 7. In Iraq Al Najaf, Baghdad, Erbil and Sulaymaniyah share the remaining 21 flights. Meanwhile, in Iran Isfahan, Lar, Shiraz, and Tehran each get three weekly flights.
4. Royal Jordanian
Royal Jordanian only serves Iraq, operating 34 weekly flights to the nation. Each week the airline operates Baghdad flights 16 times per week. This is accompanied by 9 flights to Erbil, 4 to Basra, 3 to Sulaymaniyah, and 2 to Al Najaf. Royal Jordanian had initially suspended Iraq flights in the immediate aftermath of a US drone strike in Baghdad.
5. Air Arabia
Air Arabia operates flights to both Iran and Iraq, with the majority serving Iran. 13 weekly flights serve three cities in Iraq, while 18 serve Iran. Baghdad, Lar, and Shiraz each get 5 weekly flights.
Emirates operates to three destinations across the two nations. In Iran, the UAE flag carrier operates 14 flights per week, all to Tehran. Meanwhile, Iraq flights are spread across two destinations. 7 operate to Baghdad per week, meanwhile, 5 operate to Basra.
7. Austrian Airlines
Austrian Airlines operates 14 flights per week to Iraq and Iran. These are split equally between the two countries. Seven operate to Iran’s capital Tehran. Meanwhile, the other seven operate to Erbil in Iraq. However, Austrian Airlines is one of those currently avoiding the area due to security concerns.
8. Gulf Air
Like Royal Jordanian, Gulf Air only currently flies only to Iraq. The airline serves Al Najaf and Baghdad with seven and four flights respectively.
Lufthansa operates 9 flights per week to the two countries. Seven of these serve Tehran, while two serve Erbil. However, after suspending, then reinstating the Tehran flight, Lufthansa’s flight turned home over Romania yesterday.
10. Oman Air
Oman only serves 7 flights per week to Iran’s capital, Tehran. The airline doesn’t fly to Iraq at present.
The other major airlines serving the region are:
- Aeroflot (5 weekly flights);
- EgyptAir (5 weekly flights);
- Kuwait Airways (5 weekly flights);
- Ukraine International Airlines (5 weekly flights);
- China Southern (4 weekly flights);
- Saudia (4 weekly flights).
Additionally, Cirium notes that other airlines have flown to the two countries in the past 10 days. These are ATA Airlines, Atlasglobal, Azerbaijan Hava Yollary, Cham Wings Airlines, FlexFlight ApS, Fly Baghdad Airlines, Iran Air, Iran Airtour Airline, Iran Aseman Airlines, Iraqi Airways, Jazeera Airways, Jordan Aviation, Mahan Air, Middle East Airlines AirLiban, Nile Air, Pegasus, Qeshm Air, SalamAir, Saudi Arabian Airlines, SunExpress, SunExpress Deutschland GmbH, and UR Airlines.
All of the data presented in this article was kindly provided by Cirium.com.
Have you flown to Iraq or Iran? Who did you fly with? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!