Direct Hyderabad-Mashhad flight from June 30
Hyderabad: A direct flight between Hyderabad and Mashhad in Iran is set to take off from June 30, making it the first such service between South India and the Persian Gulf nation, a senior diplomat said on Saturday.
Hassan Nourian, Consul General of Iran in Hyderabad, said the twice-a-week flight, to be operated by his country`s Aseman Airlines, would make it easy for tourists wanting to visit the second biggest Iranian city.
"Culturally and religiously Hyderabad is well connected with Mashhad. The direct flight will be advantageous for tourists, Indian businessmen, domicile Iranians and a large number of Iranian students in the city and southern parts of India," the envoy said at a press conference.
"As per the schedule given to us, there will be two flights a week from Hyderabad to Mashhad," Nourian said.
Currently, Iran`s Mahan Air operates four flights from Delhi and two from Mumbai. Around 50,000 Indians visit Iran while 30,000 Iranians visit India every year, he said.
To a query, the diplomat said Iran currently offers visa-on-arrival facility to India visitors and his country would welcome if New Delhi reciprocates this arrangement.
"If India offers visa-on-arrival facility to Iranians, the number of tourists from our country would increase," he said.
Speaking about trade relations with India, the diplomat said the Consulate of Iran, Hyderabad in association with the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FAPCCI) has set up Chamber of Commerce for Iran Trade Promotion (CCITP) to promote bilateral trade ties.
Nourian said both the countries have agreed to increase non-oil trade in future as oil import from Iran to India reduces. According to Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry figures, the trade between the two countries stood at USD 15 billion last year.
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