Imam Khomeini Airport | A Comprehensive Guide

Imam Khomeini Airport

Imam Khomeini Airport, nestled just 30 kilometers south of Tehran, stands tall as the bustling gateway to Iran’s capital city. With its IATA code IKA and ICAO code OIIE, this airport serves as the primary hub for international flights in Tehran, while domestic flights find their home at Mehrabad Airport. Ranking third in passenger traffic within Iran, following Mehrabad and Mashhad International Airport, IKA holds a prominent position in the country’s aviation landscape.

Operated by the Iran Airports Company, this dynamic airport serves as the main operating base for Iran Air and Mahan Air, both of which contribute to its bustling atmosphere. However, IKA is more than just a base for these prominent airlines; it has evolved into an international hub for numerous smaller Iranian carriers as well. As the sun rises over the airport’s runways, the air becomes filled with the anticipation of travelers embarking on their journeys, and the energy of exploration permeates the terminal halls.

Services and Sections of Imam Khomeini Airport

Within the sprawling expanse of Imam Khomeini International Airport lies a tapestry of services and sections that cater to the diverse needs of travelers. From the moment visitors step foot in the terminal, they are greeted with a seamless blend of modernity and Iranian hospitality. The airport’s array of amenities, including duty-free shops, restaurants serving delectable Iranian cuisine, and comfortable lounges, create a welcoming and comfortable environment for passengers to unwind and indulge.

Imam Khomeini Airport
Photo by VOO QQQ on Unsplash

Moreover, the airport’s dedication to passenger convenience is evident in its well-organized sections. Whether one seeks swift check-in processes, efficient security checks, or clear wayfinding, IKA ensures a smooth transition from arrival to departure. As travelers navigate through the terminals, they can’t help but admire the distinct architectural design that combines elements of traditional Iranian culture with contemporary aesthetics, evoking a sense of national pride.

Imam Khomeini International Airport stands as an embodiment of Iran’s global connectivity, offering a gateway for travelers to explore the rich heritage and natural beauty that awaits within the country’s borders. With each departure and arrival, this airport weaves together tales of adventure, fostering connections and bridging cultures.

Imam Khomeini Airport Infrastructure

Efficient Terminals for Seamless Travel

Imam Khomeini International Airport prides itself not only on its efficient operations but also on the infrastructure that enhances the travel experience for its passengers. The airport is equipped with two active terminals, each with its own distinct features, catering to the diverse needs of travelers.

Imam Khomeini Airport
Photo by Alireza Akhlaghi on Unsplash

Terminal 1 

Terminal 1, the airport’s inaugural active terminal, exudes a sense of grandeur with its annual handling capacity of 6.5 million passengers and 120,000 tonnes of cargo. In a testament to its efficiency, Terminal 1 served nearly 9 million passengers in 2017 alone, showcasing its ability to handle a significant volume of travelers with ease.

Salaam Terminal (Terminal 2) 

Salaam Terminal, also known as Terminal 2, stands as a testament to the airport’s commitment to inclusivity. Initially designed as a dedicated pilgrimage terminal, it has now opened its doors to all varieties of flights. With a capacity of 5 million passengers per year, Salaam Terminal ensures that all travelers, regardless of their purpose or destination, can experience the comfort and convenience that Imam Khomeini International Airport offers.

Future Expansion – The Iranshahr Terminal (Terminal 3)

Looking towards the future, plans for the proposed Iranshahr Terminal, or Terminal 3, are underway. Although still in the planning phase, this terminal, with an envisioned capacity of 20 million passengers per year, will further expand the airport’s capabilities, bringing its total capacity to a staggering 30 million passengers annually.

Imam Khomeini Airport
Photo by BlogDeBanderas, on Wikimedia Commons

Smooth Runways for Safe Landings

As travelers make their way through the airport, they are greeted by the sight of a single operational runway, equipped with the Instrument Landing System (ILS) CAT II, ensuring safe and precise landings. While the installation of a second ILS system was hindered by sanctions, the airport’s resourceful Iranian technicians stepped in to overcome the challenge, demonstrating their dedication to maintaining top-notch facilities.

Restful Retreats – Hotels at IKA

To provide utmost convenience to weary travelers, the airport boasts the presence of internationally renowned hotels on its premises. In 2015, AccorHotels made history by becoming the first international hotel chain to set foot in Iran since the 1979 revolution, introducing Novotel and Ibis-branded accommodations. While the hotel chains have since left Iran in 2021, the hotels have been rebranded as Remis and Rexan, continuing to offer a comfortable and seamless experience for guests. Connected to Terminal 1 via a sky bridge passing through the airport metro station, these hotels provide a welcome respite for travelers seeking relaxation before or after their journeys.

Imam Khomeini International Airport’s commitment to modern infrastructure and thoughtful amenities ensures that every traveler passing through its gates can experience a harmonious blend of comfort and convenience. From the efficient terminals to the operational runway and the presence of reputable hotels, this airport leaves no stone unturned in its pursuit of excellence.

How to Get to Imam Khomeini Airport?

When it comes to reaching Imam Khomeini International Airport, travelers have various transportation options at their disposal. Whether you prefer the independence of driving or the convenience of a taxi or shuttle bus, accessing the airport from Tehran is a straightforward endeavor.

Road Trips and Highways

For those opting for the freedom of their own vehicle, the airport is easily accessible via the Tehran-Qom and Tehran-Saveh freeways. The well-connected road network allows travelers to embark on a seamless journey, with clear signage guiding their way. As the cityscape gradually gives way to the open road, the anticipation of a new adventure begins to take hold.

Airport-Operated Taxis and Shuttle Buses

Imam Khomeini International Airport also provides the convenience of airport-operated taxis and shuttle buses, ensuring hassle-free transportation for arriving passengers. These services are available 24/7, offering a reliable and efficient means of reaching your destination. In just around 45 minutes, the typical taxi journey from the airport to the center of Tehran unveils the vibrant cityscape, allowing you to immerse yourself in the bustling energy of the capital.

The airport-operated taxis, often light yellow in color, come in a variety of models including Toyota Camry, Toyota RAV4, Hyundai Sonata, Kia K5, Volkswagen Caddy, and IKCO Samand. With their comfortable interiors and experienced drivers, these taxis provide a pleasant and safe journey, allowing you to relax and prepare for the next chapter of your travels.

Airlines at the Imam Khomeini Airport

Here is the table displaying the airlines and their destinations:

Air ArabiaAbu Dhabi (begins 18 July 2023), Sharjah
AnadoluJetAnkara, Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Ariana Afghan AirlinesKabul, Mazar-i-Sharif
Armenia AirwaysYerevan
ATA AirlinesAnkara, Baghdad, Istanbul, Najaf, Tbilisi
Austrian AirlinesVienna
Azerbaijan AirlinesBaku
Buta AirwaysBaku
Caspian AirlinesBaghdad, Najaf
Cham Wings AirlinesDamascus
China Southern AirlinesÜrümqi
Fly BaghdadBaghdad, Najaf
Freebird AirlinesSeasonal Charter: Gazipaşa/Alanya
Iran AirAhmedabad, Baku, Beirut, Cologne/Bonn, Frankfurt,
Hamburg, Istanbul, Karachi, Kuwait City,
London–Heathrow, Milan–Malpensa, Mumbai, Najaf,
Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Rome–Fiumicino, Vienna
Iran AirtourDubai–International, Istanbul, Najaf, Yerevan
Iran Aseman AirlinesBaghdad, Istanbul, Najaf
Iraqi AirwaysBaghdad, Najaf
Kam AirKabul, Mazar-i-Sharif
Kish AirAlmaty, Najaf
Kuwait AirwaysKuwait City
Mahan AirAleppo, Ankara, Baghdad, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi,
Beijing–Capital, Beirut, Damascus, Delhi,
Dubai–International, Erbil, Guangzhou,
Istanbul, Kabul, Kirkuk, Lahore, Mazar-i-Sharif,
Moscow–Sheremetyevo, Moscow–Vnukovo, Najaf,
Shanghai–Pudong, Shenzhen, Sulaimaniyah
Meraj AirlinesBaghdad, Beirut, Dalaman, Damascus, Istanbul,
Moscow–Vnukovo, Saint Petersburg, Najaf
Nordwind AirlinesKazan, Moscow–Sheremetyevo, Saint Petersburg
Oman AirMuscat
Pegasus AirlinesAnkara, Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Qatar AirwaysDoha
Qeshm AirAnkara, Dubai–International, Istanbul, Muscat,
Najaf, Tbilisi, Yerevan
Somon AirDushanbe
SunExpressSeasonal Charter: Isparta
Syrian AirDamascus
Taban AirBaghdad, Muscat, Najaf
Tailwind AirlinesSeasonal Charter: Adana
Turkish AirlinesIstanbul
Varesh AirlinesDushanbe, Najaf, Tbilisi
Seasonal: Batumi
Zagros AirlinesBaghdad, Najaf, Tashkent, Tbilisi
Seasonal: Batumi

Banks and Exchange Places at Imam Khomeini International Airport

At Imam Khomeini International Airport, the needs of travelers extend beyond transportation and accommodation. Recognizing the importance of financial services, the airport ensures that banking and money exchange facilities are readily available to passengers, ensuring a seamless and convenient experience.

As passengers arrive or depart from the airport, they will find several banks and reputable money exchangers stationed at the entrance and exit areas. These trusted institutions are equipped to assist travelers with their financial needs, whether it’s currency exchange or other banking services. With their expertise and efficient service, passengers can rest assured that their financial transactions will be handled with professionalism and care.

Imam Khomeini Airport
Photo by Sasha India, on Wikimedia Commons

Moreover, the airport has established arrangements with the national banking system, enabling the provision of special services throughout the passenger terminal. This includes electronic payment options for departure dues, streamlining the payment process and reducing the need for physical currency exchanges. Additionally, passengers can find ATM services conveniently located in various areas of the airport, ensuring access to cash whenever needed.

FAQs about Imam Khomeini International Airport

Q: What is the largest airport in Iran? 

A: The largest airport in Iran is Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA). It serves as the primary international airport in Tehran and offers flights to 44 destinations in 22 countries.

Q: How much is a taxi from Imam Khomeini Airport to Tehran? 

A: The taxi fare from Tehran Imam Khomeini Airport (IKA) to Tehran can vary, but the quickest way to reach Tehran Station by taxi costs around $2 to $3. The distance between the airport and Tehran Station is approximately 35 km.

Q: What is the main airport in Iran called? 

A: The main airport in Iran is Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA). It is a significant hub for both domestic and international flights and plays a crucial role in connecting Iran with various destinations worldwide.

Q: What is the oldest airport in Iran? 

A: Masjed Soleiman Airport holds the distinction of being the oldest airport in Iran. It was established in 1909 by Englishmen who arrived in Iran in search of oil. This makes it the first airport in Iran, coincidentally built during the same year as the world’s oldest operating airport, College Park Airport.

Q: How many airports are there in Iran? 

A: Iran boasts a total of 49 airports with scheduled flights. These airports contribute to the country’s extensive air transportation network, facilitating domestic and international travel for both business and leisure purposes.

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