Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has announced it will commence flights from Abu Dhabi to Baghdad on April 26, subject to government and regulatory approvals, becoming the first airline in the UAE to fly to Iraq.
Etihad will operate five return services per week to Baghdad, operated by two-class Airbus A320 aircraft, and will expand its operation with two additional A320 return services to a second Iraq destination – Erbil – from June 1, subject to government and regulatory approvals.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways Chief Executive, said: “We are committed to building and strengthening ties in our region and we are pleased that Etihad will be the first airline in the UAE to fly to Iraq.
“We expect to see strong demand on these routes, particularly from government and business travellers, as well as people from Iraq visiting family and friends around the world.
“We launched a cargo operation to Baghdad in September 2009, and have recently commenced additional cargo flights to Erbil, which we expect will perform well for Etihad.”
Mr Hogan said the timing of the new services offered air travellers convenient onward connections via Abu Dhabi to a number of key destinations across the airline’s global network, including the GCC and Middle East, Australia, China, Europe, Japan, North America and the Philippines.
"We are grateful to the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority and the Iraq Civil Aviation Authority for their support, which has enabled us to move forward with these important new services."
Etihad’s flight EY555 to Baghdad will depart Abu Dhabi on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 10.00am and arrive at Baghdad’s international airport at 11.25am the same day. The return flight, EY554, will depart Baghdad on the same days at 12.30pm, arriving in Abu Dhabi at 3.50pm.
Flight EY557 to Erbil will depart Abu Dhabi at 10.00am on Tuesdays and Sundays, arriving in Erbil at 11.50am. The return flight, EY558, will depart Erbil at 1.00pm on the same days, arriving in Abu Dhabi at 4.40pm.
All times quoted are local times.