Emirates Airlines to launch Baghdad flights

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The Independent Travel

Emirates Airlines plans to launch a thrice-weekly service to war-ravaged Iraq from the start of July, the Dubai-based carrier said on Monday.

"Initially Emirates will operate a thrice-weekly service (to Baghdad) on a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday," the airline said in a statement.

"Iraq is well on the road to recovery and we are confident that the time is right to commence our operations there," Emirates chief Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum said.

The airline said it also hopes to play an economic role between the United Arab Emirates and Iraq by exporting goods including clothing, food, electronics and oil well equipment.

Emirates' decision to make Baghdad its 103rd destination comes after Etihad Airways, which is based in the UAE emirate of Abu Dhabi, launched flights to the Iraqi capital on April 26.