1137 GMT December 04, 2020
A study of figures from the Iranian aviation industry showed that the number of overflights through Iranian airspace in the Persian calendar months, ending July 21, had increased by 71 percent compared to the similar period last year, Press TV reported on Sunday.
The surge came some six months after the Iranian military mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger airliner near the capital Tehran.
Tehran’s air defenses had been on high alert at the time the jet was downed in case the US retaliated against an Iranian missile strike which had occurred hours earlier on American troops stationed in Iraq.
Iran took full responsibility for the downing of the Ukrainian plane, which killed all 176 people aboard, while trying to assure global airlines that the country provides a safe route for transit.
The increase in the number of flights over Iran also comes despite a general slump in the global aviation activity as a result of the spread of the coronavirus disease.
The study said the number of flights passing through Iran had reached 7,295 in the month to July 21, an increase of nearly 37 percent compared to the previous month.
This comes as Iran has refused to implement a general cut in overflight fees that it charges for airlines using Iranian airspace.
However, there have been some discounts to offset the losses suffered over the Ukrainian plane incident, with aviation authorities rewarding the top eight airlines providing transit income as well as those boosting their flights through Iran by 20 percent.