Foreign airlines apply for Baghdad landing rights
Despite the fact that UN economic sanctions remain in force, several foreign airlines have made official requests to the Iraqi aviation authorities to resume regularly scheduled flights to Baghdad, reported the Al Thawra daily. The newspaper added that they include airlines from Jordan, Egypt, Yemen, the UAE and Russia.
Iraqis say that the resumption of foreign flights would not in and of itself represent a violation of the UN sanctions, which they say, could be enforced by monitoring the cargoes carried on the airplanes. For the Iraqi point of view, evidently a groundswell of support is developing at the United Nations.
Speaking to Al Thawra, Ayad Abdulkareem, the director-general of Iraqi Airways, claimed that Baghdad’s Saddam International Airport is ready to receive planes and offer all the facilities required.
Iraqi Airways, which has been virtually grounded since the Gulf War, has 37 passenger planes, some of which have been impounded at foreign airports since 1991. According to Abdulkareem, work has begun to make the craft airworthy.
Iraq Airways is also interested in activating a pre-Gulf War contract for the purchase of five new aircraft from Airbus. An Airbus delegation visited Baghdad in September and expressed the company’s readiness to implement the deal when the UN sanctions eventually are rescinded. ¯ (Albawaba-MEBG)