Etihad starts Basra flights
Etihad Airways has begun flights between Abu Dhabi and Basra in southern Iraq.
Flight EY553 took off from Abu Dhabi airport at 0945 today and landed at Basra International Airport at 1050.
The new A320 service, with 16 Pearl business class seats and 120 seats in Coral economy, operates four times a week, offering a mix of morning and afternoon departures.
Basra marks Etihad's third destination in Iraq, after Erbil and Baghdad.
Etihad Airways President and CEO, James Hogan, said Basra is an important industrial and transport hub but currently has limited access to air services.
"Our new flight will make a significant contribution to improving this situation for the people of the region," he said.
Oil and gas represent the backbone of the local economy and major companies rotating staff in and out of Basra have expressed strong interest in the new flights.
Commenting on the new route, HE Arshad Tawfiq, Iraqi Ambassador to the UAE, said: "It facilitates the movement of business people from both countries and paves the way for investors travelling to Iraq through the UAE to source opportunities in the country, as well as offering services to the Iraqi community residing in the UAE."
For more information, visit etihad.com
Report by Dominic Ellis
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