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Thu 16 Jun 2005 04:00 AM

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Air Scotland aims to launch Baghdad service

Air Scotland chief waits on licence decision for potential Glasgow-Baghdad service.

Air Scotland is hoping to start flights to Baghdad from Stansted and Glasgow in order to cater towards growing demand for flights to the country.

The budget has recently applied to the Department for Transport in the UK, asking for permission to operate a twice-weekly service to Baghdad, and a weekly flight to Arbil, north of the Iraqi capital. The flights, which will start at Glasgow Airport and stop off in Stanstead before continuing on to Iraq, are expected to start in November.

“Currently there seems to be no one looking to offer this kind of service, so hopefully we will be the first to set up this type of operation from the UK,” said Dhia Al-Ani, chairman, Air Scotland. “I believe there will be a lot of interest in these flights as there are a quarter of a million Iraqis in the London area alone. As Iraq is my original home it has been a long standing dream for me and when the first flight takes off it will be a great day for me,” he added.

Al-Ani explained that if the application for a licence was unsuccessful he would instead operate the service from Athens, Greece.

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