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Old January 3rd, 2009, 12:58 PM   #1
marki
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Iraq Aviation

Europe-Baghdad flights resume after 18 years
From correspondents in Baghdad, Agence France-Presse
January 03, 2009 07:02am
http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574...-23109,00.html

THE first passenger flight from Europe in 18 years has landed at Baghdad airport.
The Swedish charter flight resumed air links between Iraq and Europe for the first time since the United Nations imposed sanctions on Iraq after the 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

The Nordic Leisure airliner carried 150 people.

More international flights were expected this weekend, including one from Hong Kong, Iraqi Transport Minister Amer Abduljabbar Ismail said.

Earlier this week, Air France-KLM and Iraq's transport ministry signed a preliminary accord which will see Iraqi Airways taking off for European destinations and Baghdad airport being renovated.

In the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War, state-owned Iraqi Airways was hit hard by UN sanctions imposed against Iraq and its service declined rapidly.

After the US-led invasion in 2003, the airline slowly resumed flights and today the national carrier flies to the regional capitals and major cities of Amman, Beirut, Tehran, Cairo, Istanbul, Damascus and Dubai.

Mr Ismail hopes that pilgrims from Bahrain will be soon able to fly to the holy Iraqi city of Najaf in the south.

"Also soon a direct flight will commence between Baghdad and Mashhad," he said, referring to the northeastern Iranian city where Reza, the Shiite eighth Imam, is buried.

Three recently purchased new Boeing 737-300s would be used on some of the recently added routes, the minister said.

The Iraqi Government in May 2008 ordered 30 Boeing 737 commercial airplanes in a deal worth up to $US2.2 billion ($3.13 billion).

----------------------

The hottest destination for Swedish tourists in 2009
The website is http://www.iraqiairways.co.uk/en/main.asp. You can book online. Hurry, Seats are selling fast!

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Old January 3rd, 2009, 02:16 PM   #2
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new 737-300! There aint no new -300's left!

I wonder what on earth were the people doing travelling to Baghdad as toursits?
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 02:56 PM   #3
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I think they're mainly Iraqi.
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 07:32 PM   #4
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Some related threads on Iraq aviation :

Iraqi Airways Resumes International Flights
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=135654

Air Scotland Plans London - Baghdad Flights in November
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=210698
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Old January 4th, 2009, 04:58 AM   #5
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What a wonderful notice!!

Excellent for Iraqi Aviation.
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Old January 4th, 2009, 04:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halawala View Post
new 737-300! There aint no new -300's left!
Perhaps they are new because they may have the flares thingy, that lets them evade surface-to-air missiles and other projectiles like a Hercules. This is pretty handy over local insurgent strongholds while on approach to Baghdad International Airport and makes passengers feel a lot safer

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Old January 5th, 2009, 11:43 AM   #7
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Saddam International



SDA ATC



T1



EX AC 767 C-GAVA
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Old January 5th, 2009, 12:27 PM   #8
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Youtube video on the repairs to Baghdad International:

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Old January 5th, 2009, 09:18 PM   #9
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good to see more flights into iraq, i also heard turkish airlines has started flights to baghdad which is good to see a major airline going back
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Old February 8th, 2009, 06:58 AM   #10
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Iraq ready to issue licences to foreign airlines
7 February 2009
Agence France Presse

Transport Minister Amer Abduljabbar Ismail said on Saturday the government was ready to issue licences to any foreign carriers wishing to set up air links with Iraq.

"Any company that wants to fly to Najaf or to any airport in Iraq will be able to get the ministry's immediate agreement," Ismail told reporters in the Shiite holy city south of Baghdad.

"We are very much interested in developing Najaf airport and we have discussed with Turkey, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt the possibility of them setting up air links with Najaf," he added.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki opened Al-Hamza airport in Najaf last July 20, describing the inauguration as a "historic moment."

Millions of Shiite pilgrims flock every year to Najaf, the home of Shiite Islam's most revered shrine of Imam Ali.

The new airport is expected to boost the number of pilgrims, especially from neighbouring Shiite Iran, which has a deal with Baghdad to send pilgrims all year round as part of efforts to boost trade.

Most Shiite Muslims visit Najaf and later tour Karbala, which is home to the shrines of Imam Hussein and Imam Abbas.

Airport official Najjah al-Balaghi has meanwhile said that travellers can obtain entry visas on arrival at Najaf airport -- a move aimed at bolstering tourism in the holy city.

"We have begun issuing visas to passengers since Wednesday to simplify travel procedures," Balaghi told reporters. "Visitors no longer need to apply for a visa in Iraqi embassies in their home countries."

Around 1,000 travellers have landed at Najaf airport since it opened in July, most of them from Lebanon, Syria and Iran, Balaghi said.

He also expected the number of arrivals to increase in the coming weeks, with dozens of charter flights due from Dubai, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan and several Iranian cities.
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Old February 8th, 2009, 08:48 PM   #11
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it is so good to see iraq as a country coming back together again after such a long time! hope good days are ahead for iraqi people they deserve it
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 06:41 AM   #12
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'Boarding now for Baghdad'
BMI prepares to open air link with Iraq

2 May 2009
The Independent

THE DEPARTURE boards at Heathrow could soon be augmented by the return of a city that fell off the airline map 18 years ago: Baghdad. Even though the Foreign Office warns against all travel to the Iraqi capital, one of Britain's leading airlines hopes to launch a link from London within a year.

"BMI is ready and willing to re-establish air links between Heathrow and Baghdad," said Nigel Turner, the airline's chief executive. He has met senior Iraqi government officials in a bid to secure rights for the route: "The ability to travel by air between Heathrow and Baghdad is vital in supporting the considerable energy going into bringing business ties and investment back to normality," said Mr Turner.

BMI, which is the second-biggest airline at Heathrow, already serves a number of "niche" destinations in the region, including Yerevan in Armenia and Aleppo in Syria. It has shifted away from highly competitive short-haul European and long-haul transatlantic services to "mid-haul" links where it faces few rivals. From Heathrow to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, for example, the lowest return fare is £599, about twice the rate for a flight to Boston, which is the same distance from London. Fares to Baghdad are likely to be higher still.

BMI will target business, government and NGO travellers, as well as "VFR" traffic - people visiting friends and relations. It will also capitalise on its membership of the Star Alliance, with airlines such as Air Canada and United of the US transferring passengers at Heathrow.

The airline is likely to have the route to itself, at least initially. A spokeswoman for British Airways said the company had "no current plans" to return to the route it abandoned in 1991. The leading flight specialist, Trailfinders, said: "We've not registered any significant level of inquiries for travel to Iraq."

Before BMI begins services to Baghdad, the UK government will need to rescind its existing ban on direct links between the two countries. In addition, safety concerns about the airport must addressed to the satisfaction of the airline's security officials.

The only UK tour operator to Iraq is Hinterland Travel, which ran its first trip to the country in March. The company's founder, Geoff Hann, said he had already taken bookings for next year.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 08:29 AM   #13
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I would hate to go through the security line at SDA. I wonder what it's like departing that airport. Are there taxi queues lined up? How do you keep from getting shot or blown up on the way to your city destination? I would love to go if there was a guarantee I would stay alive.
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Old September 13th, 2009, 06:40 AM   #14
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Iraq-Qatar flights resume after 18-year break
11 September 2009
Agence France Presse

Iraqi Airways resumed flights from Baghdad to the Qatari capital on Friday for the first time in 18 years, an AFP journalist reported.

Welcoming the flight, Iraq's ambassador in Doha, Jawad Kadhem al Hindawi, said his country's national carrier planned two flights a week initially to Qatar, one from Baghdad and the other from the Shiite holy city of Najaf.

Najaf, south of Baghdad, is home to the mausoleum of the revered Imam Ali, and the focus of pilgrimage for millions of people every year.

Iraqi Airways aircraft were grounded by the international embargo that followed the Iraqi invasion of its tiny neighbour Kuwait in August, 1990.

Following the US-led invasion of March 2003 that ousted dictator Saddam Hussein, the airline resumed operations, flying mostly to Arab countries, Iran and Turkey.

In March it made its first flight to the European Union in 19 years when an aircraft flew from Baghdad to Stockholm via Athens.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 09:00 PM   #15
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Thai airport workers bring know-how to Iraq

Bangkokpost Published: 10/05/2010 at 12:00 AM


This may come as a total surprise to the people of Thailand, but a group of about 25-30 Thai airport personnel are helping manage the flow of hundreds of pilgrims arriving in the Iraqi city of Najaf, one of the holiest sites of Shia Islam.

The staff, nearly all former staff of the Thai Airport Ground Services (TAGS), are on one-year contracts to help with passenger services and ramp handling. They were once contracted through a Kuwaiti company but are now under the direct employ of Najaf Airport, which kept the staff after the company pulled out following some contractual disagreements.

I bumped into one of them, Chatchawal Damrongphan, at Bahrain Airport while waiting to catch the Gulf Air connection to Najaf. Mr Chatchawal, 50, apparently the most senior among the Thais, said he had been in Iraq for three years as part of the effort by the Iraqi government to develop the airport as a gateway to that strategically significant part of the country.

Located about 250 kilometres south of Baghdad, Najaf features the tomb of Ali Ibne Abu-Talib, son-in-law of the prophet Muhammad. The Shias believe Ali to be Muhammad's immediate successor while the Sunni branch of Islam recognises him as the fourth Caliph.

Najaf and the nearby city of Kufa, where Ali was assassinated, are visited by thousands of Shia Muslims from Iran, India, Pakistan, Bahrain and other Gulf countries with large Shia communities. This traffic movement is one of the less-known aspects of the growing demand for global religious travel.

Mr Chatchawal told me that airlines operating to Najaf today include Iraqi Airways, Bahrain Air, Gulf Air, Mahan Air, Sham Wings (a private Syrian carrier) and a few others. He says the potential is huge but foreign airlines are restricted to only 800 seats a week in order to support the fledgling local carrier Iraqi Airways.

Mr Chatchawal worked in Saudi Arabia for five years. After returning to Thailand for a year, he went to Iraq where he makes US$2,000 a month and sends most of it back home to support his wife and two children, aged 13 and 15.

The Thai group includes two women, one of whom, Kanokporn Thaewthad, 39, works as a passenger services supervisor. Hailing from Krabi, Miss Kanokporn told me she has no family to support, and is perhaps a rarity as a single woman working in such a conflict-ridden part of the Middle East.

The Thais all live in a camp about 10 minutes walk from the airport. They work six months at a stretch and get one month off. They are also supposed to get one day off a week but as there is nothing much for them to do in Najaf, they mostly just stay on the job. The group was 70-strong at one stage, but many have returned home.

All but two of the staff are Buddhists, and they admit to having a tough time living in a society where alcohol and pork are taboo. But, says Miss Kanokporn, "We get used to it."

Another staffer, Anuwat Kardeeroj, 31, a Muslim from Bangkok, said a group of Shia Thai Muslims came to Najaf for a pilgrimage the previous week.

The Thai staff are clearly well-liked by the locals. I saw both Mr Chatchawal and Miss Kanokporn being greeted at the airport by the Iraqi staff like long-lost friends and, in the case of Mr Chatchawal, with the traditional Arab hug and peck on both cheeks.

Asked if Thais are training the local Iraqis to take over their jobs, Mr Chatchawal said it will be a long time before the Iraqis are capable of running the show. In addition to the shortage of qualified manpower, he says there are a lot of internal conflicts amongst the peoples themselves.

Mr Chatchawal introduced me to Essa Al Shemeri, the airport director, a short, powerfully built Iraqi who welcomed me to Najaf with a crisp "sawasdee khrap".

"I've been to Thailand many times," he chortles. "Mostly to Pattaya, in the days when I used to be a bad boy." He says he has also been to Singapore, mostly for work.

Iraq is trying to promote tourism as part of its job-creation programme. Islamic pilgrimage tourism is a natural fit as the country is dotted with mosques, shrines and museums dating back to its historic days as a centre of Islamic education, culture and civilisation.

However, due to ongoing security concerns, there are military checkpoints literally every 500 metres on the provincial roads and every four or five kilometres on the main highways. Mobile phones and cameras are no longer allowed into any of the religious spots.
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Old August 6th, 2010, 06:48 PM   #16
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FEATURE-Baghdad returns to map of global airlines

BAGHDAD, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Baghdad is getting back on the map of international airlines after 20 years of violence as the prospect of multi-billion oil deals lures business travellers.

Gone are the days of hair-raising cork-screw landings -- dubbed death spirals -- as the bloodshed has ebbed from a peak of sectarian warfare in 2006 and 2007, though bombings and suicide attacks still occur regularly across Iraq.

Several foreign airlines started or announced plans to fly to Baghdad in recent months as firms slowly come back to Iraq seven years after a U.S.-invasion, attracted by oil contracts and infrastructure projects.

So far 12 mostly Arab carriers connect Baghdad with Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Bahrain, Jordan, Iran and other countries in the region, according to airport officials.

The latest destinations are Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Lufthansa plans to start to fly from Germany from Sept. 30, while authorities are also in talks with Austrian Airlines, Dubai's Emirates and a French carrier, said Adnan Blebil, head of Iraq's civil aviation authority ICAA.

"Another airline from Dubai will be also coming," Blebil said, busily shifting and signing papers while sitting in his airport office, where the phone rings almost non-stop.

Anticipating more growth, authorities plan to refurbish a third terminal that has been out of use as the Iraqi capital saw little traffic for 20 years due to U.N. sanctions, wars and much violence since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Airline officials say Baghdad routes are among the most profitable ones. Most planes are full despite tickets costing a fortune -- for example, $800 for an economy ticket to Jordan's capital Amman, just some 800 km (500 miles) away.

They can also benefit from the troubles of state carrier Iraqi Airways. The government wants to dissolve the airline within three years to avoid asset claims by Kuwait over Saddam's 1990-91 occupation of the smaller neighbour.

TOUGH SECURITY

To lure more international airlines Baghdad International Airport boasts some of the world's toughest security checks to prevent car bombs and suicide attacks.

"These airlines have very high security standards. They won't operate from an airport unless they've done a thorough physical check that all their requirements are met," said Terminal Security Manager Paul Gillert.

Up to six search points have to be cleared, the first one more than a kilometre away where guards with dogs search every car and traveller.

No traveller can enter the terminal without a valid ticket and travel document so relatives accompanying them have to bid farewell outside the building, said Gillert, whose security firm G4S has some 700 staff on duty.

Iraq was mainly shut off from the world after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, triggering U.N. sanctions. Apart from Royal Jordanian flying to Amman there was little traffic to Saddam International, as it was called until 2003.

Despite the newcomers, there is still plenty of space for other airlines to come. The airport handled around 165,000 travellers from October to December 2009, according to ICAA.

Based on that trend Baghdad had more than 600,000 passengers in 2009, compared to 9.1 million at British city Birmingham, whose airport is a similar size. No full-year or comparison figures were available from ICAA officials.

The third Baghdad terminal will be refurbished so each has a capacity of 2.5 million passengers, Blebil said.

Officials boast the airport has largely avoided the violence that has plagued Iraq since the invasion but this comes at a price -- many travellers are exhausted when they reach the plane cabin after checks and more checks.

"If I would count the time I spent between coming to the airport and going through checkpoints, I would have landed in Iran by then," said 33-year old Iranian businessman Ridha Miri, waiting to check in on a flight to Tehran.

Built in the early 1980s, the airport has seen, like most public buildings, roads and hotels in Iraq, little refurbishment after several wars and more than a decade of economic sanctions.

Telephone booths without telephones, fading colours on dusty walls and signs showing the way to anti-air raid shelters in the basement welcome travellers in the main departure hall.

As most air bridges do not work, planes tend to park away from the terminal, while passengers sometimes wait up to an hour to retrieve their luggage.

"Nothing has changed, the same decor, the same furniture, only the air-conditioning system is better in the past," said Abu Yasir, a 37-year old Iraqi flying to Tehran.

"I don't think they have renewed anything."

As the latest innovations, a duty-free shop has opened and signs show the way to a "1st class restaurant" upstairs.

"One small cup of tea costs 90 cents. We don't eat there but bring food from home," moans Iraqi passenger Muhsin Radhi, 65.

Assistant restaurant manager Fadhil Abu Mohammad himself moans about security measures: His best customers have now been banned from entering the terminal -- U.S. soldiers from nearby bases enjoying a meal at night.

"We used to keep the restaurant open until late hours at night, sometimes until 4 am," he said.
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Old October 15th, 2010, 05:59 PM   #17
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French airline Aigle Azur announces twice-weekly Paris to Baghdad flights, starting in October
15 October 2010

PARIS (AP) - French airline Aigle Azur says it will begin twice-weekly direct flights from Paris to the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, later this month.

A delegation of business leaders will be aboard the Oct. 30 inaugural flight on an Airbus A-319 aircraft, the airline said in a statement Thursday.

It said the flights would leave from Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport and tickets would soon be available for purchase.

The statement said Aigle Azur serves 14 destinations in Algeria, as well as cities in Tunisia, Morocco and Mali.

France's leading carrier, Air France, used to serve Iraq but it no longer does.
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Old October 31st, 2010, 07:01 PM   #18
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Bonjour, Baghdad! French carrier flies to Iraqi capital, opening direct route to west Europe
31 October 2010

BAGHDAD (AP) - A French airliner landed at Baghdad International Airport Sunday, becoming one of the first passenger planes to fly into the Iraqi capital direct from western Europe since the Gulf War and opening a potential new route to stronger international business ties.

The inaugural flight by France's Aigle Azur, which touched down shortly before 6 a.m. local time, carried French officials and journalists and was largely ceremonial. The airline won't begin regularly scheduled passenger flights for another two to three months, but if successful, the flights would mark an important milestone in Iraq's economic development.

"It will also be a chance, a new chance for the development of business between France and Iraq but more globally, between Europe and Iraq," said France's top trade official, Anne-Marie Idrac, who was on board the flight.

Some carriers, such as Austrian Airlines, fly from western Europe to the Kurdish city of Irbil. Regional airlines such as the Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, Bahrain's Gulf Air, the Beirut-based MEA airline and Turkish Airlines fly to the Iraqi capital.

But there are no direct passenger flights between Baghdad and western Europe. Stockholm-based Nordic Airways launched commercial flights to Baghdad from Copenhagen, Denmark, in January 2009 but its operating license was revoked later that month.

The lack of major European carriers flying to Baghdad shows the difficulties the country is having attracting major foreign investments in anything but the surest economic bets. Although some Western companies placed bids in the country's first round of oil licensing last year, it was only for the biggest and safest fields.

When the airline began planning the route about a year ago, they wanted to begin passenger service immediately after the inaugural flight, said the president of Aigle Azur's executive board, Francois Hersen. But there wasn't enough passenger interest, in part due to Iraq's political and security problems.

The country is in its eighth month without a new government after March 7 national elections failed to produce a clear winner. And violence, although much reduced, continues to claim lives.

Hersen said the airline is confident they'll have enough customers when flights start in earnest early next year.

Attempts by Iraq's national carrier, Iraqi Airways, to launch flights to London in April were swiftly quashed when lawyers for neighboring Kuwait tried to confiscate the inaugural plane upon landing in London to settle debts related to Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

The Aigle Azur flight, which took off late Saturday from Paris, carried a delegation of French business leaders planning to attend the Baghdad International Fair, an annual showcase designed to attract businesses to Iraq.

When regular flights begin early next year, the French airline plans to fly into Baghdad twice a week from Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport.

A ticket for one of the 124 economy seats will be about 1,500 euros, or $2,100. The 24 business class seats on the Airbus A319 will cost around 2,500 euros, or $3,500, each, Hersen said.

Aigle Azur is a French carrier operating out of Paris's Orly and Charles de Gaulle airports that mainly flies to locations in Africa such as Algeria, Mali, Morocco and Tunisia. They also operate flights to the French cities of Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Mulhouse and Toulouse.

The German carrier Deutsche Lufthansa AG was slated to begin regular flights between Munich and Baghdad Sept. 30 but canceled them due to a lack of customer interest.

The news was a blow to Iraq's hopes to reconnect Baghdad with international capitals since most Western airlines discontinued flights to the city after the 1991 Gulf War.

Many potential investors still view Iraq with trepidation.

"We are worried about security. We would not be able to come (to Iraq) by ourselves. The cost of security is too important to us," said a businessman on the flight, Lionel Cuenca, from the French company Gindre Duchavany, which specializes in copper products.

For years, many regional and Western carriers shied away from Iraq due to safety concerns. The few airlines that did fly in and out of the airport, formerly named after Saddam Hussein, performed a tight corkscrew when landing, a spiraling maneuver designed to protect them from missile attack.
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Old November 30th, 2010, 04:02 AM   #19
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Emirates to start Iraq flights with Basra in Feb

DUBAI, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Dubai carrier Emirates, the largest Arab airline, said on Monday it will launch flights to Iraq's city of Basra starting Feb. 2 to tap growing demand for the destination.

Basra will be Emirates' first Iraq route after the airline postponed the launch of flights to Baghdad earlier this year citing "operational reasons".

"The city's recent growth has paved the way for numerous multinational companies and industries to invest in infrastructure and we have seen strong potential from a number of our markets," Chairman and Chief Executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum said in a statement.

"Since the 2009 oilfield bid, traffic from the U.S. and Europe into Basra has increased significantly and we are ready to capitalise on this growth," he added.

Iraq's Shi'ite south, where Basra is located, has been relatively peaceful in recent months in comparison to Baghdad and the north where devastating assaults and bombings by Sunni Islamist insurgents remain common.

Emirates expects its outbound traffic from Basra to be skewed towards local Iraqis, who are expected to travel more as the economy recovers.

The airline expects to handle around 10-12 tonnes of cargo per flight.
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Old March 13th, 2012, 08:01 PM   #20
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Associated Press
Austrian Airlines resumes Baghdad flights
By SINAN SALAHEDDIN , 06.08.11, 10:09 AM EDT

BAGHDAD -- Austrian Airlines resumed flights to Baghdad on Wednesday after a 21-year absence, becoming the first major western carrier with regular flights to the Iraqi capital.

An Austrian Airlines plane touched down Wednesday afternoon at Baghdad International Airport, dropping off passengers from Vienna and picking up passengers going to Austria on the return flight.

The decision by the Vienna-based airline to resume Baghdad flights should help Iraq lure international investors. A number of western carriers have expressed interest in starting up a Baghdad route but none have yet to do so.

The airline said in a statement that it will fly the route three times a week.

Austrian Airlines began flying to Baghdad in 1982 but stopped in 1990 due to the first Gulf War.

The airline already flies to the northern Iraqi city of Irbil six times a week. Irbil is much safer than the capital, which has struggled to attract international investors to anything except the surest economic bets.

Many regional carriers fly to the Iraqi capital, including Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways and Turkish Airlines. But there had been no direct passenger flights between Baghdad and Western Europe.

Stockholm-based Nordic Airways launched commercial flights to Baghdad from Copenhagen, Denmark, in January 2009 but its operating license was revoked later that month.

German airliner Deutsche Lufthansa AG ( DLAKY.PK - news - people ) last year postponed the scheduled startup of a Munich-to-Baghdad route, citing a lack of customer interest.

Lufthansa has already resumed flights to Erbil, and had said it was gearing up for flights to Baghdad four times a week.

France's Aigle Azur flew to Baghdad last fall on an inaugural flight carrying French officials. The ceremonial flight was supposed to be followed by regularly-scheduled flights this year but those never materialized.


Marcus Christl, an Austrian Airlines vice president, addresses the media after an Austrian Airlines flight landed in Baghdad on June 8, 2011, reconnecting the Iraqi capital with Europe through a regular scheduled flight for the first time since 1990.


An Austrian Airlines plane sits at the tarmac of Baghdad airport after landing on June 8, 2011, reconnecting the Iraqi capital with Europe through a regular scheduled flight for the first time since 1990.




An Austrian Airlines aircraft lands at Baghdad international airport in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, June 8, 2011. Austrian Airlines resumed flights to Baghdad on Wednesday after a 21-year absence, becoming the first major western carrier with regular flights to the Iraqi capital.
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