Emirates and sister carrier flydubai have resumed flights through Iraqi airspace just days after Baghdad announced it had defeated so-called Islamic State.
The two UAE-based airline ceased transiting Iraqi-controlled airspace back in 2014 following the outbreak of fighting in the country’s northern regions as well as the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine.
“Emirates is constantly reviewing its air operations, in line with regulatory and regulatory directives,” a spokeswoman told the official Emirates News Agency (ENA) this week. “Safety, security and operational efficiency considerations will always be at the forefront when planning flight routes.”
In turn, a spokeswoman for flydubai said in a statement that it had “begun using the eastern part of Iraqi airspace again on November 28” for use in flights to Eastern Europe and Turkey.
“We carried out all the necessary assessments of risk and security before embarking on the crossing,” she said.
Last week Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the country’s armed forces had secured the western desert as well as the whole Iraq-Syria frontier region marking what he said was “the end of the war against Daesh terrorists who have been completely defeated and evicted from Iraq.”