4 MARCH 2013
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Iraqi Airways flights to Gatwick from Bagdad and Sulaimanlya are planned to resume tomorrow (5 March) with a Boeing 767. Currently UK two-way traffic to Bagdad is via the Gulf States airlines.
After a freeze that has lasted more than two decades, Iraq's state airline, Iraqi Airways, has also launched its first service to Kuwait since Saddam Hussein invaded the country in 1990. It is a sign of how Iraq is returning to normal after the American pull-out.
Iraq's foreign and transport ministers travelled on the symbolic Iraqi Airways flight, hailed by officials as a sign of improving relations between the oil-producing neighbours. They were greeted by Kuwaiti officials upon landing.
The Iraqi Transport Ministry said there would now be regular flights between the countries.
Diplomatic ties between the Middle East neighbours were bolstered last year after they came to a settlement over Gulf War-era debts, and by a series of bilateral visits involving Kuwait's ruler and Iraq's Prime Minister.
In December, Kuwait's state-run airline dropped legal cases against Iraqi Airways in return for compensation of US$500m. www.iraqiairways.co.uk
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