Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, has announced the resumption of its direct services between Bahrain and Erbil in Iraq; further strengthening the airline’s existing Iraqi routes of Baghdad and Najaf.
The airline’s services to Erbil will commence on February 2, 2020, and will see Gulf Air’s three weekly flights between Bahrain International Airport and Erbil International Airport operated with an Airbus A320 aircraft.
Iraqi Airways (Baghdad) announced on February 20 that it will begin services to Manchester, UK beginning on March 15, 2015.
The twice-weekly service, flown by one of the carrier’s Boeing 737-800s, will include the first flight being between Manchester and Erbil on Wednesdays at 22:00 and the second flight being between Manchester and Sulaymaniyah on Sundays, also departing at 22:00.
Erbil is the largest city and capital of the semi-autonoumous Kurdistan region of Iraq. Erbil is located 55 miles east of Mosul.
Report by Assistant Editor Oliver Wilcock from Manchester.
Copyright Photo: Brandon Farris/AirlinersGallery.com. Brand new Boeing 737-8Z YI-ASR (msn 40080) was just handed over to the carrier on February 20.
Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines) (Frankfurt) has resumed flight operations to Erbil in northern Iraq. Austrian Airlines put its daily flight from Vienna back on the schedule yesterday (August 28). Flight OS 829 departed at 10:15 a.m. Lufthansa flies from Frankfurt to Erbil twice a week. The first scheduled flight is LH 696 on Saturday, August 30 (departure time 10:10 a.m.). Both airlines had most recently suspended their flights to Erbil on August 8.
According to the group, “The northern Iraqi city lies outside of the conflict zone controlled by IS. According to the most recent assessments, the security situation allows for safe flight operations to Erbil. The Lufthansa Group will continue to avoid Iraqi airspace in transit traffic, for instance to Asia and the Middle East. Furthermore, Lufthansa continues to carefully monitor the development of the security situation in Iraq and is in close regular contact with the respective international and national security authorities. The safety of passengers and crews is the highest priority for the airlines of the Lufthansa Group.”
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Lufthansa operates an Airbus A319 on the route. Airbus A319-114 D-AILR (msn 723) arrives in Zurich.
Lufthansa‘s (Frankfurt) CEO Carsten Spohr has outlined his plans for a new unnamed low-fare long-range subsidiary to Reuters. The new subsidiary would initially operate either with seven Boeing 767-300s or Airbus A330s. If successful, he would quickly upgrade to newer Airbus A350s or Boeing 787s (Lufthansa does not have any 787s on order).
In other news, the Lufthansa Group has issued this statement concerning Erbil in northern Iraq:
Following a reassessment of the security situation in Iraq, the Lufthansa Group continues to suspend its flights to Erbil until further notice.
Affected by this decision are flights by Austrian Airlines, which usually offers daily services to the city in Iraq from Vienna, as well as flights by Lufthansa, which operates to Erbil from Frankfurt twice a week.
On the financial side, the Lufthansa Group reported a first half net loss of €79 million ($106 million), reduced from a net loss of €203 million in the same period a year ago.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-343 D-AIKN (msn 922) arrives in New York (JFK).
Lufthansa Group (Frankfurt) has issued this statement about flying over Iraq:
After renewed consultation with the relevant national security authorities, the Lufthansa Group has decided to resume flights to Erbil in northern Iraq (Kurdistan) from today (August 4). Erbil lies well outside the direct crisis zone in Iraq, and flights to and from the city will be routed to avoid overflying the zone. Lufthansa (Frankfurt) flies twice-weekly to Erbil, a further daily flight is operated by Austrian Airlines (Vienna).
For the time being, however, transit traffic to Asia and the Middle East, for example, will continue to detour Iraqi airspace. The Lufthansa Group is in close and regular contact with the relevant national security authorities, also in Iraq. Based on our own assessment, there is currently no danger in overflying Iraq. Nevertheless, the Lufthansa Group has decided to avoid the Iraqi airspace above the section controlled by Isis for the time being. In taking this step, the Lufthansa Group is taking into account the growing apprehension of customers and our own flight crews. The safety and well being of passengers is naturally our paramount priority. The changes in flight routes apply to all airlines in the Lufthansa Group. Aside from Lufthansa, those airlines include Lufthansa Cargo, Austrian Airlines and Swiss. The new flight routes will not significantly lengthen flight times.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-430 D-ABVS (msn 28286) of Lufthansa with the short-lived “Fanhansa” titles for the recent FIFA World Cup departs from Toronto (Pearson).