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KLIA gets 13th Middle Eastern Airline in Iraqi Airways

03 September 2013

Sepang, 3 September 2013 - Malaysia Airports is pleased to announce that Iraqi Airways, the national carrier of Iraq has re- commenced its operations to Kuala Lumpur, after a period of 34 years, offering two flights weekly on Baghdad - Kuala Lumpur route.

Iraqi Airways will operate to Kuala Lumpur on Tuesdays and Saturdays, using Boeing 777 type of aircraft. The flight from Baghdad to Kuala Lumpur takes approximately eight and a half hours.

The inclusion of Iraqi Airways takes the number of Middle Eastern airlines serving KL International Airport (KLIA) to 13, offering connections to various capital cities in the Middle East. The other Middle Eastern airlines flying to KLIA are Iran Air, Emirates, Gulf Air, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Kuwait Airways, Yemenia Yemen Airways, Mahan Air, Oman Air, Royal Jordanian and Egypt Air. Iraqi Airways is the 64th international airline operating at KLIA.

In today's welcome reception, Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad, Managing Director of Malaysia Airports led the Malaysian delegates in greeting Iraqi Minister of Transport, Mr Hadi Al Ameri together with the arriving passengers of Flight IA 455 from Baghdad.

Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad said, "Malaysia Airports warmly welcomes the return of Iraqi Airways to Kuala Lumpur and wishes them success for this operation. The inclusion of Iraqi Airways further added to KLIA's international network and offers passengers with new, direct connection to Baghdad, famous for its rich historical heritages."

"We are looking forward to the resumption of services by other airlines such as British Airways and Qantas. We have had several meetings with British Airways to encourage them to recommence their services to KLIA. Last year we invited a British Airways (BA) team to Malaysia to assess the market. Following this visit, BA has indicated an interest to return. We will continue to engage them and hope that they will make a favourable decision. We have also had exploratory discussion with Qantas to encourage them to resume their services as well." he added.

So far this year, KLIA has welcomed six new airlines such as Thai Smile, Malindo Air, Air France, Turkish Airlines, Philippine Airlines and Iraqi Airways.

"1.23 million passenger movements from the Middle East region was registered for the first half of 2013 which represented a growth of 13.4%, compared to the same period in 2012. We foresee the Middle East region to continue contributing to higher number of passenger movement this year, especially with the inclusion of new airlines from Middle East," said Bashir.

Iraqi Airways was founded in 1945. The first planes used were Dragon Rapides. For the next fiscal decade, until 1955, these planes were alternated with Vickers Viscounts. By 1955, however, the Viscounts took over all of Iraqi Airways' services. The 1960s arrived, and so did the jet age. Iraqi Airways was quick to modernize, buying Russian built Tupolev TU-124 planes as well as British built Tridents.

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