Saturday, June 5, 2010

Airlines and Iraq

Aviation in Iraq was in the news in the last few weeks and it was a mixed bag, the good news is that in the last few weeks both Emirates and Air Arabia announced services into Iraq with Flydubai to follow.

This brings air services into Iraq from three (3) MENA counties; Royal Jordanian and Royal Falcon from Jordan, Gulf Air and Bahrain Air from Bahrain and Etihad, Emirates, Air Arabia with Flydubai following soon from the UAE.

These are countries that either have a large Iraqi expatriate community or can provide a venue for Iraqis living abroad to visit their country or both. These airlines are taking calculated risks and reaping the benefits to provide links to Iraq.

The bad news is the dissolution of Iraqi Airways as a result of Kuwait Airways claims against the airline in the UK. The government is contemplating a new private airline for the replacement of Iraqi Airways. Finding investors and the startup phase is a process that will take anywhere between a year to two years, in addition to the effort to transfer bilaterals and aircraft orders. This will delay the development of an airline that can meet the needs of the people of Iraq and the countries development requirements.

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