Iraqis in UAE can now fly home with Emirates

Iraqis in UAE can now fly home with Emirates

The airline had suspended operations to Baghdad on January 26.

By Staff Report

Published: Tue 24 Feb 2015, 5:19 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 7:22 PM

Emirates will again operate with six weekly flights to Baghdad - Supplied photo

Dubai: Emirates will restart passenger flights to Baghdad from March 1, 2015, the airline said in a statement today. It had suspended operations to the capital on January 26.

Emirates will again operate with six weekly flights to Baghdad, served by an A330-200 aircraft in a 3-class configuration.

“Actually, I was planning to fly home this week and was looking for a flight on the Emirates,” said Yasser Abu Sajjad, an Iraqi engineer. He added that he was very happy that the Emirates will resume passenger flights to Baghdad after temporary suspension.

Majid Al Mualla, Divisional Senior Vice President Commercial Operations, Centre for Emirates said: “The return of services between Dubai and Baghdad follows a comprehensive safety and security review in conjunction with the GCAA. Our flights to Baghdad have provided essential economic links for the capital and it is good news for our customers that we can now restart operations.”

“Given the recent events in Iraq and the targeting of a flydubai jet, resuming flights to Baghdad will not have been an easy decision -- especially since it is a highly lucrative business and economic centre -- not just for Iraq but also for links to the UAE and Dubai,” Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at London-based StrategicAero Research, told Khaleej Times.

He said Emirates is well known for its tight and robust security procedures and will not hesitate to withdraw services if the environment suddenly changes.

“To that end, restarting services to Baghdad provides a degree of normalcy for those who rely on Emirates’ service and connections and no doubt Baghdad Airport will welcome Emirates flights with open arms,” Ahmad concluded.

Khaleej Times spoke to Iraqi expats in UAE who welcomed the initiative taken by the airlines to restart flights to Baghdad.

Dr Shahd Abdulnoor, an Iraqi dentist, said she totally agreed with the suspension which was mainly meant for their safety. “Now, I am sure things will be fine and safer with the procedures taken to keep the airplanes and flights safe and secure.”

Dr Sarah Mahmud, another Iraqi doctor, said she has been a frequent passenger of the Emirates. “I like flying on the Emirates for its high standard luxury and convenience, and was very sad when the flights to Iraq was suspended.”

Dr Ali Wajeeh, an Iraqi editor, said having the flights resumed means stricter procedures are to be followed to prevent any such haphazard bullets from being shot on an airplane.

“I can now fly home on the Emirates having no worries that my safety is top priority for me, my kids, family, and other passengers who prefer this popular carrier,” he said.

Baghdad has been part of Emirates’ route network since 2011. The airline also operates services to Erbil and Basra.

With inputs from Business News Editor Muzaffar Rizvi

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