Thursday, August 13, 2009

London to Iraq flights

Gulf Air is going to launch a five-times weekly service from London Heathrow airport to the Iraqi capital Baghdad, connecting via its hub in Bahrain.

The flag carrier will become the third airline to operate the route when it launches on September 1, joining Royal Jordanian Airlines and Turkish Airlines.

Flights will depart from Heathrow at 10.30pm on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, touching down in the Baghdad at 11.30am the following day.

Tickets for the Baghdad connection went on sale this month, costing £910.20 all inclusive.

Inbound flights will leave Baghdad at 12.45pm, arriving in London at 9pm after a one-and-a-half-hour stop-over at the airline's Bahrain base.

"We believe there will be significant demand for our services to Iraq from the UK and Europe and we strongly believe we have an opportunity to become the market leader in our operations there," Will Boulter, Gulf Air's Chief Commercial Officer, told TTG.

There are currently no direct flights between the UK and Iraq, but Baghdad's improving security situation has prompted several carriers to express interest.

Bmi recently said it is "ready and willing" to re-establish links between the two countries – which were suspended in 1991 – while Iraqi Airways claims it has already reached an agreement with British authorities over the resumption of direct flights.