UAE-based airlines Emirates and FlyDubai have recommenced flight through Iraqi airspace en route to other destinations. The flights have resumed just days after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi stated final victory over its long fight against Islamic state.
In 2014, after the Malaysian Airlines passenger jet MH17 was shot down over Ukraine, the two UAE based airline stopped flying over Iraq along with others several airlines on safety concerns because of the conflict.
Emirates did not response about when it started flying over Iraq. Emirates said that they regularly review flight operations in line with advice from the relevant regulators and international authorities, and adjust flight paths accordingly. The airline is focused on Safety, Security and operational efficiency which will always be the top considerations when planning flight paths.
Flydubai has resumed flights to the Eastern structure airways of Iraq on after working with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority and the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) on November 28.
A spokesperson for Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, however, said it the airline had still not resumed flights over Iraq, which it suspended in August 2014, and noted that it is “reviewing the relevant risk assessments” in light of the easing of restrictions by the GCAA and US Federal Aviation Authority, which on December 9 announced that flights carrying a US code share can fly over Iraq under certain conditions.
Many airlines stopped flying over Iraq due to security concerns stemming from the country’s ongoing fight against ISIL militants. Emirates and FlyDubai continued flying to and from Iraq but along with temporary suspensions on some flights from time to time.