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|Sujet: Renaissance de l'iraq Sam 2 Mai 2009 - 12:19|| |
- Citation :
- Europe-Baghdad flights resume after 18 years
From correspondents in Baghdad, Agence France-Presse
January 03, 2009 07:02am
THE first passenger flight from Europe in 18 years has landed at Baghdad airport.
The Swedish charter flight resumed air links between Iraq and Europe for the first time since the United Nations imposed sanctions on Iraq after the 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
The Nordic Leisure airliner carried 150 people.
More international flights were expected this weekend, including one from Hong Kong, Iraqi Transport Minister Amer Abduljabbar Ismail said.
Earlier this week, Air France-KLM and Iraq's transport ministry signed a preliminary accord which will see Iraqi Airways taking off for European destinations and Baghdad airport being renovated.
In the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War, state-owned Iraqi Airways was hit hard by UN sanctions imposed against Iraq and its service declined rapidly.
After the US-led invasion in 2003, the airline slowly resumed flights and today the national carrier flies to the regional capitals and major cities of Amman, Beirut, Tehran, Cairo, Istanbul, Damascus and Dubai.
Mr Ismail hopes that pilgrims from Bahrain will be soon able to fly to the holy Iraqi city of Najaf in the south.
"Also soon a direct flight will commence between Baghdad and Mashhad," he said, referring to the northeastern Iranian city where Reza, the Shiite eighth Imam, is buried.
Three recently purchased new Boeing 737-300s would be used on some of the recently added routes, the minister said.
The Iraqi Government in May 2008 ordered 30 Boeing 737 commercial airplanes in a deal worth up to $US2.2 billion ($3.13 billion).