Direct flight services have been resumed between Iraq and Kuwait in late February after a pause that lasted for more than two decades.
Iraqi Airways Company director Capt. Saad al-Khafajy stated that two times a week, direct flights will be available for the boarders. Iraq's national airline, nicknamed the "Green Bird", will increase the number of flights as the need arises, he said, noting that the eventual goal is to offer daily flights.
Iraqi Airways is capable of meeting the demand for passenger seats, particularly on religious occasions, when there is expected to be an increase in the number of Kuwaiti passengers wishing to visit the sacred shrines in Iraq, he said.
The company "seeks to offer the best services to passengers by offering travel aboard modern aircraft at competitive rates and fixed schedules", he said, adding that the airline "hopes to win the satisfaction of all travelers".
Al-Khafajy also said that air transport services between Iraq and Kuwait is of key importance in strengthening and developing bilateral ties in all fields, especially in the economic and investment arenas, as both sides are keen to expand the horizons for joint co-operation.
He mentioned, "The air routes are like bridges for maintaining contact and interaction between countries, thus we hope the resumption of the air route with Kuwait will serve businessmen and investors, as well as all Kuwaitis visiting the country for tourism, particularly religious tourism."
He also stated that over the past few years, the company has opened air routes with countries such as Sweden, Britain, Malaysia, India and Denmark, in addition to neighboring countries. New direct routes also will be opened soon with other countries, such as Azerbaijan, "as soon as official arrangements are completed," he said, noting that the company "has completed all the necessary requirements for the start of operations on those routes".
Flight services between Iraq and Kuwait were resumed about a year ago by private aviation companies, and the entry of the Green Bird into service anew as a national carrier on this air route after many years of absence will help in bolstering competition with the other carriers," said Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority director Capt. Nasser Hussein Bandar.
Mr. Bandar also stated, "It is hoped that soon air flights between Iraq and Kuwait will be increased to seven flights a week or more, depending on the airways company's capability."
Kamila al-Musawi, who serves on the Iraqi parliament's services and reconstruction committee, welcomed the inauguration of the Iraqi Airways flights to Kuwait. Resuming this route "represents the start of a new phase in Iraqi-Kuwaiti relations, which we hope will witness further progress and development", she added.
Al-Musawi praised government efforts to open air routes between Iraq and other countries, describing this as "a necessary step to increase the world's opening up to Iraq on all levels".