Etihad to launch route to Iraq

April 19- Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways will launch its direct flight to Iraq from April 26, according to a press release released on Sunday.

Given the fact that there has been a surge in air travel to Iraq largely due to the reconstruction in the country, Etihad plans to make use of that rising demand. Iraq Airways, the national airline of the country, has been slow to expand its services. "We expect to see strong demand on these routes, particularly from government and business travellers as well as people from Iraq visiting family and friends around the world," said James Hogan, the chief executive officer of Etihad Airways.

Etihad has been operating cargo flights to Iraq since 2008 and intends to operate five flights a week to Baghdad. It also plans to launch its route to Erbil, in the northern Kurdish region, twice a week starting on June 1. The carrier will use the single-aisle Airbus A320s on both routes.

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