By Andy Sambidge
Dubai's low cost carrier will start flights to Baghdad and Sulaimaniyah from next month
flydubai said on Tuesday it will add two additional Iraqi destinations to its network with flights to Baghdad and Najaf due to start in the New Year.
The new routes bring flydubai’s network to 48 destinations across 27 countries in the GCC, Middle East, Africa, Indian Sub-Continent, Asia and the fringes of Europe, the carrier said in a statement.
flydubai first launched services to Iraq last year, serving Erbil and Sulaimaniyah. The new routes mean flydubai will offer a total of 14 flights a week to Iraq.
The four-times weekly flights to Baghdad will begin on January 17, with the three times a week service to Najaf commencing on January 29.
flydubai CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith said: “The UAE is currently one of Iraq’s top trading partners with non-oil trade between the two countries growing 32.6 percent to AED26.4bn, compared to 2008.
"Our flights to Erbil and Sulaimaniyah encouraged business travel and we aim to mirror that success by connecting two of Iraq’s main commercial and business centres to the UAE.”
The main demand generator for the two routes is expected to be business traffic, flydubai added.
Iraq has identified and developed key industries such as energy, construction, retail and agriculture with the help of foreign investment and expertise.
The capital of Iraq, Baghdad is the country’s largest city, and the second largest city in the Arab World (after Cairo in Egypt).