Iranian airline Mahan Air plans to increase passenger traffic between Kyiv and Tehran, the airline’s Director of Marketing and Advertising Hussein Husseini announced at a press conference on Friday, the CFTS correspondent reports.

"We expect to increase passenger traffic between Kyiv and Tehran," Husseini said. He did not provide exact figures, saying only that Mahan Air plans to increase the number of flights between the two cities. However, this requires negotiations between the aviation authorities of Ukraine and Iran.

Mahan Air plans to attract Ukrainians with low tariffs and convenient connect flights with changeovers in Tehran during flights to Asia. However, Husseini did not disclose his airline’s prices on the routes on which competing companies performing direct flights from Kyiv to Asia (UIA, flydubai, and others) already operate. The Mahan Air representative said only that ticket prices vary depending on date of purchase, ticket availability, and other factors.

Over the past ten years, passenger traffic between Kyiv and Tehran has fluctuated between 7,000 and 19,000 people per year, including 16,000 in 2014 and more than 14,000 in 2015.

Mahan Air will begin operation on the Ukrainian market on 20 March. The Iranian carrier will operate flights on the Kyiv-Tehran route in cooperation with its Ukrainian partner, the UM Air airline. They will perform three flights per week, with Mahan Air performing two flights and UM Air performing one flight. UIA also performs flights between Kyiv and Tehran, with three flights per week.

Mahan Air is the first private carrier in Iran. The airline company was founded in 1991. Mahan Air currently employs 6,000 people and has a fleet of 61 aircraft, including 42 wide-body aircraft. The airline transported 5.7 million passengers in 2015.