After a gap of 23 years, direct flights between the UK and the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, are set to return.
Commencing next month, Iraqi Airways will operate the service twice a week to Baghdad, with one going to the Iraqi city of Sulimaniya. By June 15 this year, it is intended that the flight frequency will increase to six per week.
All inbound flights to Gatwick from Iraq will land first at Malmo in Sweden for an hour before continuing to the UK, with Iraqi Airlines commenting that the stopover is for ‘security reasons.’ The airline further commented that the Civil Aviation Authority in the UK has already given its permission for the routes, and IKB Travel and Tours, a travel agency, has been appointed as its agent in the UK.
Iraqi Airways website, while keen to promote the attractions that Baghdad has to offer, including the Baghdad Tower and the National Museum of Iraq, is also up front with the security problems that a visit could entail. The website says, ‘Unfortunately, that is a reality at the present time and there are specific considerations that must be taken when planning travel to Iraq. We have Iraq travel specialists with extensive knowledge and experience to help you arrange flights to Baghdad.’