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Getting around by air

The vast majority of international flights come to Tehran. However, some travellers are choosing to start or end their trip in Shiraz, saving some backtracking.

Airports & Airlines

Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA) sees most of Iran’s international air traffic. It’s small, so delays are possible. Elsewhere, Shiraz, Esfahan, Mashhad, Tabriz, Bandar Abbas and Kish (in that order) are potentially useful arrival or departure points, while Abadan, Ahvaz and Zahedan are less useful.

Iran Air is the national airline and has the Homa, a mythical bird, as its symbol. As the government-owned carrier, it offers service with an Islamic flavour (ie no pork, no alcohol and no exposed hair on the hostesses).

Note that Caspian Airlines, Kish Air and Taban Air have all had fatal crashes in the past 10 years.

Iranian Airlines

All airlines are based in Tehran except for Taban Air, which is in Mashhad.

Caspian Airlines Damascus, Dubai, İstanbul, Kyiv, Yerevan

Iran Air Amsterdam, Ankara, Baku, Beijing, Beirut, Cologne, Copenhagen, Damascus, Doha, Dubai, Frankfurt, Gothenburg, Hamburg, İstanbul, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, London, Milan, Mumbai, Paris, Stockholm, Tashkent, Vienna

Kish Air Damascus, Dubai, İstanbul

Mahan Air Almaty, Baghdad, Bangkok, Birmingham, Damascus, Delhi, Dubai, Dusseldorf, İstanbul, Kabul, Kuala Lumpur, Phuket, Shanghai

Taban Air International flights to cities in Central Asia and the Middle East

International Airlines

Aegean Athens

Aeroflot Moscow

Air Arabia Sharjah

Air Asia Malaysia

Air India Delhi

Alitalia Rome

Ariana Afghan Airlines Kabul, Mazar-e Sharif

AtlasGlobal İstanbul

Austrian Airlines Vienna

Azerbaijan Airlines Baku

Emirates Dubai

Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi

Kuwait Airways Kuwait City

Lufthansa Frankfurt, Munich, Zürich

Pegasus İstanbul

Qatar Airways Doha

Saudi Arabian Airlines Jeddah, Riyadh

Syria Air Damascus

Tajik Air Dushanbe

Turkish Airlines İstanbul

Ukraine International Airlines Kyiv

Tickets & Routes

Buying tickets in Iran for flights from Iran is best done through an agent – you can only buy tickets online if you're using an Iranian credit or debit card. The Middle East is a popular staging point, with several airlines connecting Tehran, Esfahan and Shiraz to the world via various Gulf airports. East and Southeast Asia also have quite a few services, but there are no direct flights from North or South America. Instead, most people come through Europe, where a host of airlines have regular flights to Tehran, or the Middle East.

Departure Tax

Departure tax is included in the price of a ticket.