Qatar Airways has extended its Middle East footprint to Iraq with Wednesday’s launch of scheduled flights to the northern city of Erbil.
Qatar Airways inaugural flight QR 446 from Doha to Erbil arrives in the northern Iraqi city to a traditional water salute welcome today.
The Doha-based airline is operating four-flights-a-week non-stop on the route – the first of two new Iraqi services being launched within two weeks. Effective June 7, Qatar Airways will start flights to the capital Baghdad, also operating four-times-a-week.
Both the Erbil and Baghdad services are being operated with an Airbus A320 in a two-class configuration of 12 seats in Business Class and 132 in Economy.
Qatar Airways Senior Vice-President GCC, Levant, Iran, Iraq and Indian Sub continent Fathi Al Shehab was onboard inaugural flight QR 446 which arrived at Erbil International Airport to a traditional water salute welcome followed by an airport ceremony attended by local officials.
Erbil takes Qatar Airways’ global network to 115 destinations worldwide.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “Iraq has long been underserved due to the political and economic difficulties the country has faced over the years, but Iraq is undergoing reform, opening up to rapid infrastructure improvements and improved air access in an area for so long depleted by sufficient number of flights.”