By Neil Denslow
Qatar Airways is to begin weekly commercial flights to the southern Iraqi city of Basra on August 30.
Qatar Airways is to begin weekly commercial flights to the southern Iraqi city of Basra on August 30. "It is a great honour for Qatar Airways to be chosen as the first Gulf airline to operate commercial services into Basra since 1991," says the airline’s chief executive officer, Akbar Al Baker."Since June, Qatar Airways has been flying regular humanitarian flights to Basra and we welcome the opportunity to begin commercial services to the city. This is an important step towards building a normal life for the people of Basra and Iraq, and will be significant in re-establishing the very important links between the Qatari and Iraqi peoples,” he adds.The carrier will initially use A300-600s on the route. The flights are scheduled to leave Doha 11:05 on Saturdays and arrive at 13:30, local time. The return flight will leave at 15:00 and arrive in Doha at 15:25, Qatar time."Qatar Airways wants to be able to contribute to this important process for the Iraqi people. At present, coalition authorities have given Qatar Airways the approval to fly to Basra, once a week, on Saturdays. We are keen to introduce additional flights as soon as possible,” says Baker.