UAE airlines have suspended flights to Baghdad after a passenger airline from UAE was fired at while landing at Baghdad airport on Monday.
Iraqi officials said gunshots were reportedly fired at a flydubai plane from UAE during landing at Baghdad airport.
All passengers are safe, the airline confirmed in a statement, which added that they were later ‘accommodated on a replacement aircraft’.
‘After landing at Baghdad International Airport (BGW), damage to the aircraft fuselage consistent with small arms fire was discovered on flydubai flight FZ 215,” the airline said in a statement to Gulf News.
All the passengers disembarked normally through the jet bridge. No medical attention was required at the airport.
‘Passengers from Baghdad to Dubai were accommodated on a replacement aircraft. An investigation is underway to establish what happened.’
According to the statement, ‘Our flight today to Bagdad has been cancelled and passengers can rebook to another point in Iraq or have a refund’.
A security and an airport official say a spray of bullets hit the plane as it touched down on Monday night, slightly damaging the aircraft but causing no casualties, report agencies.
Several airlines rerouted their flights over Iraqi airspace last year as a precaution amid fears due to worsening security situation in the region .
Emirates Airlines suspended flights to Baghdad on Tuesday, an Emirates executive said, after a shooting incident involving Dubai's flydubai carrier at the airport of the Iraqi capital.
"We suspended it right now," Shaikh Majid Al Mualla, Divisional Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations at Emirates, said on the side-lines of a Dubai conference, reported Reuters.
Etihad cancels flights to Baghdad
“With immediate effect, we have suspended all flights to Baghdad. The safety of our customers and employees is always our first priority,” Etihad Airways said in a statement.
“We will continue to work closely with the authorities and monitor the situation before recommencing scheduled services to Baghdad,” the airline said.
Air Arabia also said it was complying with GCAA’s ban to suspend flights to Baghdad.
The Iraqi airport’s website showed that all flights on Monday (both departures and arrivals) were moving on as scheduled, with cancellations only from UAE-based airlines. However, flights by Iraqi Airways, Middle East Airlines, Royal Jordanian, and Gulf Air were on schedule.