First international flight since 1990 lands in Basra

BASRA (Iraq) – The first international airline flight to land in the southern Iraqi city of Basra in 15 years arrived here yesterday receiving a warm welcome from local officials. A Sharjah-based Phoenix Air Boeing 747 arrived from Dubai with 22 passengers on board.

By (AP)

Published: Tue 23 Aug 2005, 10:36 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 4:16 PM

The company will begin two flights a week between Dubai and Basra, Iraq’s second largest city, officials said. “Hopefully flights to Iraq will increase from the region and the world,” said Basra’s governor Mohammed Al Waili at the airport while greeting the arriving passengers. Since the U.N. imposed economic sanctions in 1990 after Iraq invaded Kuwait, no foreign airline has flown to Basra.

Iraqi Airways maintains a scheduled service between Basra and Baghdad, 550km to the northwest. Since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime, there have been plans to reopen airports throughout the country for international flights but airline companies have been reluctant because of attacks on planes taking off or landing in Baghdad, as well as high fees from insurance companies.

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