By Andy Sambidge
Dubai airline to increase capacity on Iraqi route by 79% per week amid strong demand
Emirates Airline said on Sunday it is to add three additional flights between Dubai and the Iraqi southern port city of Basra, increasing the service from four to seven flights per week.
Starting from August 1, the extra flights will increase existing capacity by 79 percent per week in both directions, the Dubai airline said in a statement.
Ahmed Khoory, Emirates’ senior vice president, Commercial Operations, Gulf, Middle East and Iran, said: “The decision to introduce these additional flights to Basra highlights the destination’s importance within our growing global network.
"Since its launch Basra has seen incredibly strong passenger loads, providing an integral link between south of Iraq and the rest of the world through its convenient connections in Dubai.”
Well positioned, close to the oil fields and the Gulf, Basra continues to attract investments from major corporations around the globe.
Local authorities in Basra have also started developing plans to attract inbound tourism, highlighting the city’s rich heritage.
Some of the most popular attractions include the old mosque of Basra, the first mosque in Islam outside the Arabian Peninsula, the tourist landmark Sinbad Island, and Sayab's house ruins, the home of the Iraqi famous poet Badr Shakir al-Sayyab and many more.
“For Emirates, Iraq represents an opportunity for us to expand our business. We will continue to invest in Iraq, empowering the local economy and helping it expand its business and tourism presence.” Khoory added.
Recently announced, Emirates will start new passenger flight to Erbil its third gateway in Iraq starting from August 12.
The airline currently operates a daily flight to Baghdad and four weekly services to Basra in Iraq and has sales offices located in both Basra and Baghdad.