Austrian Airlines to fly to Baghdad after two-decade hiatus
Austrian Airlines, which stopped service to the Iraqi capital during the Gulf War, has resumed its flights to Baghdad. Beginning June 8, the carrier will run three flights from Vienna to Baghdad each week.
Austrian Airlines originally began service to Baghdad in 1982, but removed the city from its flight schedule eight years later.
The carrier's new routings are part of a larger trend toward offering expanded services to the war-torn country. A large portion of this growth, according to Raj Menon of Arabian Reach FZ LLC, is concentrated in the city of Erbil. Menon notes that in the city, “infrastructure … has been modernized during the last few years. Roads to the neighboring countries are good, but traffic is heavy, and the need for air transport is growing. During the last four years, $14 billion have been invested in buildings and infrastructure in Erbil.”
In fact, the Iraq Airports Expansion, Cargo, Logistics (IAECL) Conference and Exhibition will be held April 26-28 in Erbil, which is known as the northern gateway to Iraq.
Austrian already operates six weekly flights from Vienna to the burgeoning logistics hub.
Austrian Airlines says the flights to Baghdad will be performed on Airbus A320s. With the addition of Baghdad to the flight schedule, Austrian Airlines now serves 12 Middle Eastern destinations.