Iraqi Airways (Arabic: الخطوط الجوية العراقية; also known as Air Iraq) is the national carrier of Iraq, based in Baghdad and it is the oldest airline in the Middle East. It operates domestic and regional service. Its main base is Baghdad International Airport.
Iraqi Airways is a member of the Arab Air Carriers Organization.
Attempts were made to restart internal services in May 1991 and permission was granted by the UN for the operation of helicopters on limited domestic services. Fixed-wing flights were banned under the ceasefire terms, although the UN Security Council agreed to the resumption of internal flights. These restarted in January 1992 from Baghdad to Basra using Antonov An-24 aircraft. Operations were suspended shortly after, following a UN ruling.
However, domestic flights became a rarity too, because of the No-Fly Zone imposed by the United States and United Kingdom over Iraqi skies. On occasions, Iraqi Airways would also fly pilgrims to Muslim religious cities throughout the 1990s.
Iraqi Airways operated the first domestic commercial scheduled service since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime from Baghdad to Basra, with 100 passengers in a Boeing 727-247, on 4 June 2005. On 6 November 2005, Iraqi Airways operated a flight from Baghdad to Tehran, Iran, for the first time in 25 years. The aircraft, as with the rest of the fleet, is operated on its behalf by Teebah Airlines of Jordan. Services to Arbil and Sulaymaniyah were added in summer 2005.
|Iraqi Airways serve the following as of October 2008''':|
|Bahrain||Manama||Bahrain Airport||restarts fall 2008|
|Tehran||Imam Khomeini Airport||charters|
|Baghdad||Baghdad Airport||Main Hub|
|Basra||Basra Airport||Secondary Hub|
|Amman||Queen Alia Airport||Focus City|
|Beirut||Rafic Hariri Airport|
|Terminated destinations in Africa|
|Algeria||Algiers||1991 and prior|
|Terminated destinations in East Asia|
|China||Beijing||"||served in 1970s|
|Terminated destinations in Southeast Asia|
|Terminated destinations in South Asia|
|Terminated destinations in Southwest Asia|
|Syria||Aleppo||"||served in 1960s|
|Terminated destinations in Europe|
|Germany, East||East Berlin||"||Schonefeld Airport|
|Portugal||Lisbon||"||served in uptil 1980|
|Terminated destinations in South America|
|Brazil||Rio de Janeiro||"||served uptil 1980|
|Airbus A300B4-2C||1||Operated for Government of Iraq|
|Boeing 727-247||1||Short-Medium haul||Operated by Teebah Airlines|
|Boeing 737-200||2||Short haul||1 operated by Teebah Airlines |
1 operated by StarLine
|Boeing 737-800||(30 orders) |
|Boeing 787 Dreamliners||(10 orders) |
|Bombardier CRJ-900|| 1 |
|Short-Medium haul||first aircraft delivered|
in new livery
Iraqi Airways fleet was composed of mostly Boeing aircraft ordered during 1970s and served with the carrier until the 1990 ban on air travel. Until 2003, some of these aircraft were stored in Amman, Beirut and Tehran because of the Gulf War and ban on air travel in Iraq. However, some air worthy crafts operated a few Hajj flights during the 1990s. After the 2004 re-organization, several restored 727s and 737s, in addition to leased 767-200 aircraft, operated flights for the carrier.
Five Airbus A310-300 were also ordered in the late 1980s but war related sanctions prevented Iraq from getting them and they were never built. In July 2008, Airbus Industrie sales chief John Leahy ordered the deal removed from its backlog in response to an inquiry from Reuters about the long-forgotten deal at the 2008 Farnborough Airshow.