Jordan Airline Plans First Commercial Flight to Iraq in 10 Years

Published November 28th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

National airline Royal Jordanian plans its first commercial flight to Iraq in more than 10 years on Thursday, state television reported. 

"The company has issued tickets and taken reservations for its first commercial Amman-Baghdad flight on Thursday," the report said, explaining that this did not represent the resumption of regular flights but rather of charter flights. 

Last week, Jordanian Information Minister Taleb Rifai told AFP his country was working for a resumption "very soon in regular air links between Amman and Baghdad." 

That follows comments Monday from a senior official from the Iraqi transport ministry that Iraqi Airways and Royal Jordanian were going to resume air links at the beginning of December. 

Last Wednesday, a non-commercial Jordanian flight arrived in Baghdad, the fifth in two months. 

It carried Youth and Sports Minister Saeed Shukum and a contingent of sports officials and athletes, who were to compete against Iraqi opponents during a two-day visit. 

In September, Jordan officially asked the United Nations to restart air links, but has not yet received an answer. 

Baghdad has frequently called on Amman to reopen its air space to flights to and from Iraq, arguing that no UN resolution forbade such flights. 

A 10-year embargo, including a ban on commercial air services to and from Iraq, remains in place despite dozens of Arab, French, Russian and other flights to Baghdad since Saddam International Airport near the capital was reopened in August. 

UN sanctions were imposed after Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, and they can be lifted only once the United Nations certifies Iraq has scrapped its weapons of mass destruction.  

However, many Arab and other countries have been steadily pushing for the lifting of the sanctions because of the humanitarian crisis in Iraq -- AMMAN (AFP) 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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