Flights to Basra set to begin

Six international carriers have been given the right to fly to Basra, Iraq’s second biggest city. The Head of Iraq’s Governing Council made the announcement last week, and flights are expected to start next month.

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By  Neil Denslow Published  August 20, 2003

Six international carriers have been given the right to fly to Basra, Iraq’s second biggest city. The Head of Iraq’s Governing Council made the announcement last week, and flights are expected to start next month.

The carriers chosen to provide services to Basra were Emirates, Lot Polish Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, SAS and Gulf Air, which is planning to start flights on Spetember 1.

“Gulf Air is both honoured and delighted to have been selected as one of the first group of airlines into the country,” says Fareed Al Alawi, vice president, network at Gulf Air. ”We believe the resumption of air links into Basra will give us an opportunity to contribute to the development and construction of Iraq.”

“With our strong regional network and longstanding geographic and cultural ties within the region, we are well placed to provide support and services to the people of Iraq and those committed to rebuilding the country,” he adds.

Before flights can begin Gulf Air needs to obtain clearance from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation & Meteorology in Oman and from the Civil Aviations in Bahrain and Abu-Dhabi. Meanwhile airline officials are working on the logistics of the operation and will assess security and ground-handling facilities at the airport, which has been closed since the 1991 Gulf War.

At this stage, under the terms of the initial arrangement, Gulf Air will fly to Basra once a week on Mondays.

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