Revitalizing Ports, Airports in the Shadow of IS

Al-Monitor:  Are there examples of such achievements?

Zubeidi:  Yes, definitely. There is more than one branch, and this is a huge sector. Developing this sector requires the development of its infrastructure, the development of its work mechanisms and the development of prospects as well. In terms of airlines, the aircraft fleet has been developed. The ministry obtained a series of US Boeing planes under a contract for the provision of 55 aircraft.

We will also be receiving Airbus and Canadian Bombardier planes. The current fleet consists of 28 aircraft, and by the end of the year it will include 40 aircraft. On the other hand, we continue to reach new destinations, such as Antalya, Vienna and Malmo and Paris soon, as well as Tunisia and Sharm el-Sheikh and one US airport. We have developed a supply center through investment.

Al-Monitor:  What about aircraft maintenance? In the 1970s, Iraq had one of the largest aircraft maintenance workshops in the world. Numerous countries used to repair their aircraft in Baghdad.

Zubeidi:  Baghdad will once again be the hub for aircraft maintenance after having had this role assumed by other countries. We will keep working on this important project.

Al-Monitor:  ​The ministry has numerous projects and plans. But how does the ministry evaluate the importance of a project? In other words, what are the projects you are interested in and to which you give priority?

Zubeidi:  In general, all the ministry of transport’s projects are important. The ministry’s projects not only aim to solve the transportation crisis, but are also of economic importance and feasibility. Some of these projects have an impact on the country's overall economy. This is what gives a project its priority. The projects that improve transportation in a given sector and that have economic feasibility in the long run have priority.

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