Iraqi Airways drops flights to United Kingdom and Sweden

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

File:Iraqi airways at Baghadad international airport.jpg

An Iraqi Airways flight at Baghdad International Airport
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)

Iraqi Airways have announced that they are to drop all flights to the United Kingdom and Sweden. The announcement comes after a row with Kuwait over war reparations.

Iraq and Kuwait are in dispute over billions of dollars of reparations; this includes around $1.2bn in aircraft and parts seized beginning in 1990 by Saddam Hussein. The airline's director general was stranded in the United Kingdom on the basis of a High Court court order obtained by Kuwait Airways last month, but his passport was returned and he was allowed to leave after he informed the court of all the airline's assets in the UK.

Amer Abdul-Jabbar, the Iraqi Transport Minister released a statement saying that "We will announce whether or not we will dissolve the company." The cancellations were announced by the director general of Iraqi Airways, Kifah Jabar Hassan.

Hassan spoke about the plans to dissolve the company, saying that "[w]e can establish another airline company and put an end to this case. With this, the Kuwaitis will get nothing”.

On April 25, Iraqi Airways sent its first jet to the United Kingdom in twenty years. The flight had been delayed for over a year and was met with further restrictions for nine days after the volcanic ash crisis in Europe. The aircraft was impounded by London High Court and no further flights to the UK have been made.