Iran Fires Airport Chief

A0090172.jpgTEHRAN (FNA) Iran replaced the director general of Tehran’s international airport, the transport ministry said yesterday, after passengers were left stranded for days amid major disruption caused by snowfalls.

Gholam Hossein Baqerian has been replaced by his deputy, identified as Khalajzadeh, the transport ministry said in a statement on its website, without giving further details.

However state broadcasting said the dismissal was linked to the travel chaos at the new Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA) during the record low temperatures.

His replacement was linked to “the lack of facilities for passengers, the lack of organization for the takeoff and landing of flights and the complaints of passengers,” it said.

IKIA was virtually shut for several days as its managers sought to grapple with record snowfalls in the airport’s desert location 30 kilometers south of Tehran.

The mass cancellation of flights meant that many passengers had to wait 72 hours before boarding their planes.

Iran intends to make IKIA a flagship facility rivaling Dubai.

All international flights have moved from the ageing Mehrabad airport to IKIA since last November.

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