In order to facilitate travel, an Iranian Kurdish city will soon begin direct flights with the Kurdistan Region’s capital of Erbil, an Iranian airport official said on Saturday.
The “top priority” of Urmia airport is to “establish direct flights with Erbil,” Director General of Airports of Iran’s West Azerbaijan Province Kamal Parhizkar told the Iranian Fars News agency.
Urmia is the capital city of West Azerbaijan Province with an ethnically diverse population makeup that includes Kurds, Azeri Turks, Assyrians, and Armenians. Erbil and West Azerbaijan provinces are neighbours.
The province’s Kurdish residents – who constitute the majority – are frequent travellers to the Kurdistan Region, be it for business purposes, visiting relatives, or tourism, which is especially the case during seasonal holidays.
Movement between the two sides has grown exceptionally large, according to Parhizkar, prompting them to work in this regard and create a permanent bi-weekly flight schedule between the two sides.
In late March, a Turkish airline announced the launch of direct flights from Turkey’s Gaziantep and Diyarbakir to Erbil, aiming to strengthen economic relations between the Kurdistan Region and Turkey.
“Launching the two direct flights would certainly boost the trade and tourism sectors on both sides,” said Newroz Mawlud, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Minister of Municipalities and Tourism.