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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05BAGHDAD2404
2005-06-06 11:33:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Baghdad
Cable title:  

IRAQ: Iraqi Airways Inaugural Flight to Basra.

Tags:   ELAB  ECON  PGOV  IZ 
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						UNCLAS BAGHDAD 002404 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR NEA/I, EB/TRA

TAGS: ELAB ECON PGOV IZ
SUBJECT: IRAQ: Iraqi Airways Inaugural Flight to Basra.

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED - USG DIST ONLY - NOT FOR
INTERNET DISTRIBUTION

UNCLAS BAGHDAD 002404

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR NEA/I, EB/TRA

TAGS: ELAB ECON PGOV IZ
SUBJECT: IRAQ: Iraqi Airways Inaugural Flight to Basra.

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED - USG DIST ONLY - NOT FOR
INTERNET DISTRIBUTION


1. (SBU) Iraqi Airways (IA), with assistance from the
British Royal Air Force at Basrah Airport in Southern Iraq,
conducted a test flight of their B727 passenger aircraft on
May 31, 2005 from Baghdad International Airport (BIAP).
This was followed up by the first passenger flight from
Baghdad to Basrah, which returned on Saturday June 4, 2005.
On board the inaugural flight was the Minister of
Transportation, Mr. Salam Al-Maliki, along with 42
passengers. The news media carried the event. This is
considered the first domestic flight by an Iraqi airline
since Saddam Hussein was in power.


2. (SBU) Due to lack of infrastructure, financial and legal
reasons, Iraqi Air is the product of a "wet lease" agreement
between Iraqi Airways, Ministry of Transportation's State-
Owned Enterprise (SOE) and an aviation company in Amman,
Jordan. All IA flights originate in Amman. This flight is
the first commercial charter connection to the Southern
Iraqi city of Basrah, Iraq's second largest by population.
According to press reports, IA will service Basrah three or
four times a week. IRMO Transportation representatives
continue to work closely with the Iraqi Civil Aviation
Authority (ICAA) to ensure IA is following all the necessary
security and flight request procedures for this route.


3. (SBU) Reports indicate IA will begin flights to Erbil
Airport in Northern Iraq under the same arrangements from
Amman, Jordan. Erbil has recently been approved by the ICAA
for limited charter operations authorized under the
Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP). Construction of
Sulemaniyah airport is not yet completed. Post continues
to work closely with Iraqi civil aviation authorities and IA
representatives on these and other issues. Minister of
Transportation Salam Auda Al-Maliki has listed the opening
of Iraq's airports among his top priorities (septel.)

Satterfield