Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Will Iran flights provide new property buyers in Phuket?

The announcement by Iran’s Mahan Airlines of weekly – likely to grow quickly to twice weekly – direct flights between Tehran and Phuket opens some intriguing possibilities for property investment on the island. While Iran is demonized politically for its nuclear programme and human rights, the reality is that Cyprus, a tourist destination similar to Phuket for example, is legislating to allow Iranians investors permanent residency and encouraging them to buy property. In Iran itself thousands of foreign firms, mainly Chinese and European, have established agents to invest directly in the housing market. They are being encouraged to buy mid to high end properties at a minimum of EUR350,000 (USD467,000). The 52.17 per cent increase in Iranian arrivals to Thailand from January to July 2010 underscores Iranian interest in Thailand. The Mahan Air direct flights, started after this survey period, with a 243 seat Airbus 300-600 aircraft, will only boost these numbers further. Another incentive for airlines like Mahan Air has been Phuket International Airport’s cutting landing fees from November 1, 2010 to airlines who introduce services on new routes to Phuket.  Mahan Air is Iran’s first private airline, operating since 1992 to destinations in the Middle East, Far East, Central Asia, and Europe out of its Tehran base.

About the Author:
Alastair Carthew is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and public relations consultant living on Phuket. He previously worked for Air New Zealand and Star Alliance in senior management roles.
PH: +66 76317929
Mobile: +66 817500448

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