Aigle Azuris launched the first direct commercial service from Paris to Baghdad in 20 years on 30-Oct-2010 although a date for the commencement of regular scheduled services will only commence in Jan-2011 (AP/DW-World/Pakistan Times/Himalayan Times/Huffington Post/AFP, 31-Oct-2010). The service marks the first scheduled direct service by a European airlines to Baghdad for 20 years. The carrier, which will operate twice weekly on the route, is negotiating an agreement with Air France to codeshare on the route. Iraqi Airways in Apr-2010 launched the first direct services between Baghdad and London in 20 years although the service was cancelled due to political issues with Kuwait. Etihad and Emirates both commenced service to Baghdad earlier this year with Gulf Air and MEA Airlines also operating to the city. Lufthansa also had hoped to launch a direct service to Baghdad but deferred the launch due to insufficient demand. Both Lufthansa and Air Berlin already operate to Arbil as does Austrian Airlines. Nordic Airways launched commercial flights to Baghdad from Copenhagen in Jan-2009 although its operating license was revoked later that month.
1-Nov-2010 2:47 PM