DUBAI // Emirates airline will resume services to Kurdish capital of Erbil, Kurdistan, next month after the service was suspended due to the threat from ISIL.
Flights by the carrier were suspended in March amid security concerns after the terrorist group razed ancient cities in the north of the country.
However, from August 15, Emirates will now operate four weekly return flights – on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays – on an Airbus A330-200 aircraft in two and three class configurations.
“We have been closely observing the situation in northern Iraq and upon a comprehensive review of our operations as well as a detailed risk assessment that is in line with Emirates’ safety standards, we decided to recommence our services to Erbil,” said Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, of Emirates’ Commercial Operations Centre.
“As a precautionary measure, we are redirecting our flight path to and from Erbil, resulting in longer flight times for our passengers.
“The safety of our passengers, crew and aircraft are taken extremely seriously and will not be compromised.”
The reopening of the schedule will also support the wider business community in Erbil, he said.
Monday flights will leave Dubai at 6.45am and arrive in Erbil at 9.20am; the return flight will leave at 10.45am and arrive in Dubai at 2.55pm.
Flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays depart Dubai at 1.15pm and arrive in Erbil at 3.50pm.
The return flight departs Erbil at 5.25pm and arrives in Dubai at 9.35pm.
Emirates SkyCargo will offer 17 tonnes of cargo capacity between Dubai and Erbil on the A330-200.
Emirates will also resume operations of a 100-tonne cargo capacity Boeing 777 Freighter, for products such as mobile phones, telephones, hand-held equipment and electronics such as laptops and semiconductors.
Emirates has been serving Iraq since 2011 and currently operates services to Basra.
Etihad and flydubai also halted their flights to Erbil in March but as yet have not announced a resumption of their services.
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