International Airports in Iran + List of Codes and Famous Airlines

Did you know that Iran’s first airport was built in the same year as the world’s oldest operating airport, College Park Airport? Masjed Soleiman Airport was established in 1908 by the Brits searching for oil, also known as black gold. Iran ranks 22nd in the world in terms of the number of airports.

Currently, there are over a hundred airports operating in the country. All of them are publicly accessible. Each province has at least one operational airport, and around 50 airports offer scheduled flights. The largest airport is Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA), located south of Tehran, the capital city of Iran. At Imam Khomeini International Airport alone, over 20 airlines operate, connecting to more than 50 destinations. The largest of these airlines is Iran Air.

Airports in Iran flights to iran

Tehran Airports

Imam Khomeini Airport and Mehrabad Airport are the two main airports in Tehran, but none was the first airport built in Tehran. Tehran’s first airport was Ghale Morghi Airport (1922), which later became a military airbase and is today a public park.

Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA)

Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) is the largest airport in Iran, spanning 13,400 hectares. It’s located about 30 kilometers southwest of Tehran. This airport handles all international flights to and from Tehran, while Mehrabad Airport serves domestic flights.

IKA opened in 2007, originally conceived as a transit hub connecting Europe and Asia. It sees over 9 million passengers annually, with flights to more than 40 destinations worldwide. The airport has two operational terminals: Terminal 1 and Salam Terminal. A third terminal, Iran-Shahr, is under construction and, when completed, will increase the airport’s capacity to 30 million passengers per year.

As the largest airport in Iran, IKA hosts the highest number of international airlines in the country, with over 40 airlines operating here. Iran Air is the biggest airline based at IKA.

Getting to IKA is convenient, with multiple public transportation options, including taxis, buses, and a metro service. Inside the airport, you’ll find a variety of amenities, such as a CIP lounge, internet access, shopping centers, hotels, parking lots, restaurants, and coffee shops.

Additionally, the airport has facilities like currency exchange points, car rental services, mobile operator booths, and airline offices. This makes it easy for passengers to handle all their travel needs in one place.

Getting to IKA is convenient, with multiple public transportation options available, including taxis, buses, and a metro service. The newly built Imam Khomeini Airport Metro Station is connected to the terminal by a pedestrian bridge, making travel to and from the airport straightforward. The metro operates from early morning until early afternoon, with a journey time of about 35 minutes to central Tehran.

Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport

Mehrabad Airport

Mehrabad International Airport (THR) is one of the busiest airports in Iran, serving only domestic flights. Located on the west side of Tehran, it is easily accessible by various public transportation options, including taxis, buses, and the metro. The airport has a rich history, initially serving as Tehran’s primary airport for both international and domestic flights until the opening of Imam Khomeini International Airport in 2007.

Mehrabad has six terminals, with four currently active. Terminal 1 handles departures for Kish Air and Zagros Airlines. Terminal 2 is for Iran Air, Iran Air Tours, Meraj Airlines, Qeshm Air, and Ata Airlines, along with arrivals for Kish Airlines and Zagros Airlines. Terminals 4 and 6 manage departures and arrivals for other airlines. Terminals 3 and 5 are used only during the Hajj season. There are also VIP and CIP terminals for special and government flights.

Despite only handling domestic flights, Mehrabad is extremely busy, serving over 18 million passengers annually. More than 16 airlines operate from the airport, including major ones like Iran Air, Mahan Air, and Qeshm Airlines. The airport also serves as a base for the Iranian Air Force and government operations.

Inside Mehrabad, you will find a wide range of facilities to make your travel experience comfortable. There are banks, hotels, large parking lots, shopping centers, restaurants, and coffee shops. ATMs and airline offices are available for ticket purchases and refunds. The airport also offers a mother and child room for breastfeeding and diaper changes, and a capsule hotel for short-term stays.

The airport is located near significant landmarks in Tehran. It is about 4 kilometers from Azadi Tower and 14 kilometers from Chitgar Lake. The airport has two metro stations on Line 4, making it easy to reach from different parts of the city. One station serves Terminals 1 and 2, while the other serves Terminals 4 and 6.

Mehrabad Airport remains an essential hub for domestic travel in Iran. With its extensive facilities and convenient location, it provides a comfortable and efficient travel experience for passengers flying within the country.

Mehrabad Airport

International Airports in Iran

As you may already know, an international airport is one that offers flights to or from at least one foreign country. But how many of these airports are in Iran?

There are more than 20 international airports in Iran. Here’s a list of them with their IATA and ICAO codes:

Ahvaz International AirportAhvazOIAWAWZ
Ayatollah Jami International AirportAbadanOIAAABD
Bandar Abbas International AirportBandar AbbasOIKBBND
Birjand International AirportBirjandOIMBXBJ
Bushehr International AirportBushehrOIBBBUZ
Dasht-e Naz International AirportSariOINZSRY
Hamedan International AirportHamedanOIDDHDM
Imam Khomeini International AirportTehranOIHHIKA
Kerman International AirportKermanOIKKKER
Kish International AirportKish IslandOIBKKIH
Konarak International AirportChabaharOIZCZBR
Larestan International AirportLarestanOISLLRR
Maku International AirportMakuOITUIMQ
Mehrabad International AirportTehranOIIITHR
Parsabad-e Moghan International AirportParsabadOITPPFQ
Payam International AirportKarajOIIPPYK
Persian Gulf International AirportAsalouyehOIBPPGU
Qeshm (Dayrestan) International AirportQeshm IslandOIKQGSM
Qom International AirportQomOIIQ
Sardar-e Jangal International AirportRashtOIGGRAS
Shahid Ashrafi Esfehani International AirportKermanshahOICCKSH
Shahid Beheshti International AirportIsfahanOIFMIFN
Shahid Dastgheib International AirportShirazOISSSYZ
Shahid Hashemi Nejad International AirportMashhadOIMMMHD
Shahid Sadooghi International AirportYazdOIYYAZD
Tabriz International AirportTabrizOITTYBZ
Urmia International AirportUrmiaOITROMH
Zahedan International AirportZahedanOIZHZAH

An ICAO code is a four-letter code used for identifying specific information related to air traffic control and flight planning for an airport. An IATA code, on the other hand, is a three-letter code that identifies the location of an airport.

Visa On Arrival: Which Airports Issue Visa On Arrival?

If you’re planning to get your visa upon landing at the airport, here’s some useful information for you:

According to the latest edition of the Iran Visa On Arrival Guide, the process of requesting a 30-day Iran visa and obtaining it at the airport is straightforward, requiring no embassy interviews or invitation letters. In some cases, the validity of the Iran visa on arrival can be extended by an additional 14 days. Additionally, there will be no Iran visa stamp on your passport. Instead, you will receive a separate visa paper, ensuring there won’t be any issues if you want to travel to the US in the future.

Currently, there are 13 airports in Iran that issue Iran Visa on arrival:
o   Imam Khomeini International Airport
o   Shahid Hashemi Nejad (Mashhad) International Airport
o   Shahid Dastgheib (Shiraz) International Airport
o   Tabriz International Airport
o   Shahid Beheshti (Isfahan) International Airport
o   Kish International Airport
o   Qeshm (Dayrestan) International Airport
o   Bandar Abbas International Airport
o   Bushehr International Airport
o   Ahvaz International Airport
o   Larestan International Airport
o   Urmia International Airport
o   Kerman International Airport

Make sure to confirm that you’re from a country eligible for an Iran Visa on arrival. According to Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, citizens of all countries except the US, UK, Israel, Canada, Iraq, Colombia, Jordan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Somalia can apply for Iran Visa on arrival. However, individuals from these countries (excluding Israel) are not banned from visiting Iran. They should contact the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran or opt for guided tours.

You can explore Iran visa exemptions in detail in our article: Exploring Iran Easier with Visa Exemptions. For all the necessary information and to apply, contact us!

Iran Visa

You can visit our Iran Visa application page for further details, visa requirements, and application.

Flights to and from Iran

Planning to visit Iran and worried about your flight? Don’t be!

Five Iranian airlines, including Iran Air, and 21 international airlines such as Qatar Airways, Emirates, and Turkish Airlines offer both direct and connecting flights to and from Iran. Most international flights in Iran take off and land at Imam Khomeini Airport. However, Shiraz, Isfahan, Mashhad, Tabriz, Bandar Abbas, and Kish airports also play significant roles in international air traffic. Although less prominent, Abadan, Ahvaz, and Zahedan airports can also support international flights.

Iran Air, the national airline, operates flights to Amsterdam, London, Milan, Ankara, Baku, Beijing, Beirut, Hamburg, Cologne, Copenhagen, Istanbul, Damascus, Doha, Mumbai, Dubai, Frankfurt, Gothenburg, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, Paris, Tashkent, Vienna, and Hamburg. Mahan Air flies to destinations including Almaty, Baghdad, Bangkok, Birmingham, Damascus, Delhi, Dubai, Dusseldorf, Istanbul, Kabul, Kuala Lumpur, Phuket, and Shanghai. Caspian Airlines offers flights to Damascus, Dubai, Istanbul, Kyiv, and Yerevan. Kish Air serves Damascus, Dubai, and Istanbul, while Taban Air supports flights to cities in Central Asia and the Middle East.

International airlines connect Iran to cities such as Abu Dhabi, Athens, Baku, Damascus, Delhi, Doha, Dubai, Dushanbe, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Jeddah, Kabul, Kuwait City, Kyiv, Malaysia, Mazar-e Sharif, Moscow, Munich, Riyadh, Rome, Sharjah, Vienna, and Zürich. Although there are no direct flights from North or South America to Iran, connecting flights through European airports are available.

For more information about visa fees, see our article: A Comprehensive Guide to Iran Visa Application Costs for Travelers!

Busiest Airports in Iran

The busiest airport in Iran is Mehrabad Airport in Tehran. Mashhad International Airport and Imam Khomeini International Airport follow in second and third place, respectively. Shiraz, Ahvaz, Kish, Isfahan, Tabriz, and Bandar Abbas airports also handle a significant amount of traffic.

Iran’s Most Famous Airlines

There are more than 15 airlines operating in Iran, but which ones are the best and most famous?

Iran Air (Homa): As the national airline of Iran, Iran Air holds the title of the best and most renowned airline in the country. It currently operates about 35 domestic flights within Iran and approximately 25 international flights to Europe and Asia.

Mahan Air: This prestigious airline operates more than 40 flights to various airports in Iran and other countries.

Iran Aseman Airlines: Known for its extensive domestic network, Iran Aseman Airlines serves more than 35 destinations and offers regional international services.

Kish Air: This airline operates flights to over 25 airports in Iran and several other countries in the Middle East.

Mitra Gholami
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