Emirates to resume services to Erbil

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Emirates to resume services to Erbil
Emirates Airlines aircraft.

Dubai - In addition to passenger operations, Emirates SkyCargo will offer 17 tonnes of cargo capacity between Dubai and Erbil on the wide body A330-200 aircraft.

By Staff Report

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Published: Wed 15 Jul 2015, 11:18 AM

Last updated: Thu 16 Jul 2015, 10:52 AM

Emirates is all set to resume passenger and freighter services to Erbil from August 15, 2015 after a risk assessment fell in line with the airline's safety standards, it said on Wednesday.
The Dubai-based airline said it will operate four weekly flights to the capital of Iraqi Kudistan on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The carrier will resume its flights to Erbil on a redirected flight path as a precautionary measure, which will result in longer flight times for passengers.
Emirates has been serving Iraq since 2011 and currently operates services to Basra. It suspended flights to Erbil on security concerns in March.
In addition to passenger operations, Emirates SkyCargo will offer 17 tonnes of cargo capacity between Dubai and Erbil on the wide body A330-200 aircraft.
The airline will also resume operations of a Boeing 777 Freighter, which has the capacity to carry just over 100 tonnes of cargo.
"We have been closely observing the situation in northern Iraq and upon a comprehensive review of our operations as well as a detailed risk assessment that is in line with Emirates' safety standards, we decided to recommence our services to Erbil. This will help support the wider business community in resuming their activities in Erbil which had been disrupted by conflict," Shaikh Majid Al Mualla, Emirates divisional senior vice-president commercial operations, centre, said.
"As a precautionary measure, we are redirecting our flight path to and from Erbil, resulting in longer flight times for our passengers.
The safety of our passengers, crew and aircraft are taken extremely seriously and will not be compromised," he added. Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at London-based StrategicAero Research said Emirates decision to restart services to Erbil should not be taken lightly.
"Given the presence of conflict in northern Iraq, security is key and Emirates will no doubt be taking as many precautions as it can to ensure the service to Erbil remains viable and we see that with their decision to make the flight longer to avoid any possible aerial threat to its aircraft," Ahmad told Khaleej Times.
"Emirates will have no hang ups about stopping Erbil again if there is any deterioration in the security framework - but it's a fluid situation and its too early to tell how long Erbil will stay connected with Emirates," he added.
Emirates services to Erbil depart on Monday as EK 949 and will leave Dubai at 0645hrs arriving in Erbil at 0920hrs. The return flight, EK 950 leaves Erbil at 1045hrs and arrives in Dubai at 1455hrs. Flights on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday are operated as EK 951, and depart Dubai at 1315hrs arriving in Erbil at 1550hrs. The return flight, EK 952 departs Erbil at 1725hrs and arrives in Dubai at 2135hrs.
muzaffarrizvi@khaleejtimes.com



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