Baghdad-Moscow Direct Flights: Iraqi Airways Resumes Air Connectivity
Founded in 1945, Iraqi Airways is the national carrier of Iraq with its headquarters in Baghdad. This veteran airline is one of the oldest in the Middle East and has an impressive history of operations. Since its first flight on 29 January 1946, Iraqi Airways expanded into a global carrier, covering a comprehensive network of destinations across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. However, significant historical events such as the Iran-Iraq War and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, along with ensuing sanctions, halted the airline’s services. Despite these setbacks, the airline has managed to sustain its operations and remains an active player in the aviation industry.
Resumption of Operations
After a protracted break, Iraqi Airways is making a significant move towards restoring its global connectivity. The airline has announced the resumption of its direct flights between Baghdad and Moscow, a development that re-establishes the direct air link between the two capital cities. The airline aims to begin its operations from the upcoming Saturday and plans to schedule two flights per week.
The Baghdad-Moscow air route has a historical significance as it was abruptly stopped 13 years ago. In 2004, Russia imposed a ban on air services between the two countries, citing security reasons. This led to the suspension of the Iraqi Airways’ operations to Moscow. However, the discussions for the possible resumption of services started back in 2015, marking a crucial step towards the restoration of the air link.
First Flight to Russia
The carrier performed its first flight to Russia after the protracted break on September 17. A Boeing 737-800, bearing the registration code YI-ASV, arrived at Vnukovo airport from Baghdad. This aircraft was factory-new and was added to the Iraqi Airways fleet earlier this year. The airline will operate its 737-800s to Vnukovo from Baghdad and Basra.
Prior to the resumption of flights to Moscow, Iraqi Airways had expanded its operations into the former Soviet republics. It first launched services to Baku, Azerbaijan in 2016, and then to Minsk, Belarus in the current year. This gradual expansion underlines the airline’s strategic approach towards restoring and expanding its global reach.
Iraqi Airways boasts a total fleet of 32 aircraft, with an average age of seven years. The fleet comprises various models including 737-800s, 737-700s, Boeing 747/767/777s, Airbus A320/321/330s, and Bombardier CRJ900s. This diverse fleet enables the airline to serve over 50 destinations, marking its significant presence in the global aviation industry.
The resumption of the Baghdad-Moscow direct flights by Iraqi Airways is a significant development in the aviation industry. It not only strengthens the airline’s global connectivity but also marks a crucial step in the normalization of air services between Iraq and Russia. This move is likely to facilitate travel and commerce between the two nations, contributing to their mutual growth and development.
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