Emirates to launch services to Iraq

May 10, 2010 (LBO) – Emirates will launch flights to the Iraqi capital Baghdad from July 1, 2010, the last remaining Middle Eastern destination to be frequented by the airline, a statement said. Baghdad will be Emirates’ 103rd international destination and one of six new destinations to be launched by the airline this year including, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Prague, Madrid and Dakar.

“Iraq is well on the road to recovery and we are confident that the time is right to commence our operations there,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman of Emirates Group.

“There is a high proportion of traffic heading both in and out of Iraq and we are in the right position to capitalise on this demand.”

Emirates said it expects the passenger mix travelling in and out of Iraq to come from a variety of sources, with a significant skew towards industry and government personnel.

The construction, telecommunications and oil sectors are expected to make up three of the largest industry segments.

Emirates expects to uplift around 10-12 tonnes of cargo per flight, using the belly hold capacity on the wide-bodied passenger aircraft.

“We will be importing various commodities into Ir