Monday, April 26, 2010

Historic Iraq-UK flight completed

With reference to the BBC article below, flights from Erbil to Gatwick via Stockholm, and to Manchester via Athens, have been operating for quite sometime. Isn't Erbil (still) part of Iraq?

In any case, whatevah, the first Lufthansa flight to Iraq since 1990 successfully landed in Erbil from Frankfurt yesterday, Sunday, April 25th. Lufthansa will operate 4 flights per week (TUE, THU, SAT, SUN).

Middle East Airlines (MEA is anticipated to begin flights between Erbil and Beirut on Tuesday, May 4th. MEA will also operate 4 flights per week (TUE, THU, SAT, SUN).

Etihad is anticipated to begin flights between Erbil and Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, June 1st. Etihad will operate 2 flights per week (TUE, SUN).

Turkish Airlines is anticipated to begin flights between Erbil and Istanbul, perhaps 7 days per week, on the day of the EIA grand opening which is now planned for June 10th. Turkish Airlines is anticipated to offer good service, lower fares, and non-stop flights to Los Angeles and Chicago, among many other destinations.

The new EIA will begin operating o/a June 1st.

Three regularly scheduled flights with passengers have successfully landed and taken off using the new runway and terminal. Both the pilots and passengers were very pleased.


25 Apr 10

Historic Iraq-UK flight completed

The first passenger flight between Iraq and the UK for 20 years has landed at London Gatwick airport.

The Iraqi Airways flight had been due to take off from Baghdad nine days ago, but was grounded by the volcanic ash cloud drifting over Europe.

The flight, nearly a year behind its original schedule, is the first since the UN imposed sanctions after Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

It stopped in Malmo, Sweden, for security checks en route to Gatwick.

Flight IA237 touched down at 2308 BST on Sunday having left Baghdad 10 hours earlier.

Thirty foreign and Iraqi passengers were on board, including transport minister Amer Abduljabbar Ismail and Iraqi Airways chief Kifah Hassan.

'Joy and pleasure'

There are expected to be two flights a week between Baghdad and Gatwick, which is just outside London in West Sussex.

Flights from Iraq will go via Malmo, but will make the return non-stop.

Iraqi exiles in London, who until now were forced to take several flights to return home, received the news of the resumption of flights "with joy and pleasure," according to the Iraqi Transport Ministry website.

The flight had been delayed mainly because of security concerns in the UK and other EU countries.

Even then, events kept the plane grounded a little longer.

It should have taken off on 16 April, but Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano had erupted two days earlier, causing thousands of flights across Europe to be cancelled.

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