An Emirati man walks past Qatar Airways planes in 2011
An Emirati man walks past Qatar Airways planes in 2011. The airline completed its first flight to Baghdad since Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, a month after launching services to Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, an official said. © Karim Sahib - AFP/File
An Emirati man walks past Qatar Airways planes in 2011
AFP
Last updated: June 7, 2012

Qatar Airways starts flights to Baghdad

Qatar Airways on Thursday completed its first flight to Baghdad since Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, a month after launching services to Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, an official said.

Qatar Airways flight QR 442 landed in the Iraqi capital at around 3:40 pm (1240 GMT), an adviser to Iraq's transport minister Karim al-Nuri told AFP.

"This flight is the first flight between Doha and Baghdad since the invasion of Kuwait, 22 years ago," Nuri said.

The airline began services to Arbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, last month, and there will now be four flights per week between Doha and Baghdad, and a similar number between the Qatari capital and the holy Shiite city of Najaf, Nuri said.

Iraq became a regional and international pariah following its invasion of the neighbouring emirate of Kuwait, and was hit by waves of violence in the years after the 2003 US-led invasion of the country.

But with improvements in the security situation, various airlines from the Arab world and elsewhere are now flying to Iraq.

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