At last November’s World Travel Market in London, the arrival of Iraq’s delegation was perhaps one that was most anticipated for many reasons. Visa issues ultimately became a hurdle at the last minute, but this has not hindered the travel and tourism industry from putting Iraq in their program. The latest company to do such a daring move is Germany’s Lufthansa Airlines.
“As Iraq is increasingly opening up to civil aviation, demand for flights to the country is growing,” Lufthansa said. “Lufthansa is therefore examining the possibility of launching several new services to Iraq and is currently planning to serve the capital, Baghdad, and the city of Erbil in Northern Iraq from Frankfurt and Munich.”
Lufthansa added it aims to launch the new services in the summer of 2010, once it has obtained the necessary traffic rights. “Further infrastructure requirements are also being examined. With the resumption of flights to Iraq, Lufthansa is pursuing its policy of expanding its route network in the Middle East, which it presently serves with 89 flights per week to 13 destinations in ten countries.”
Lufthansa operated flights to Baghdad from 1956 until the start of the Gulf War in 1990. Erbil is already served from Vienna by Austrian Airlines, which is part of the Lufthansa Group. From next summer, Baghdad and Erbil will be linked to Lufthansa’s hubs at Frankfurt and Munich and will thus be integrated into Lufthansa’s global route network.
The exact flight times and fares will be announced at a later date as soon as booking for the new routes opens, the German airline added.
Lufthansa Airlines is one of the world’s largest airlines. It flies to 190 destinations in 78 countries from its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich/Germany. In the Middle East Lufthansa serves 13 cities in 10 countries with a total of 89 flights a week.