Iraq has decided to extend the flight ban over Iraqi Kurdistan another 3 months, with no real promise that the flight ban will be lifted even after that date.
While the Iraqis seem to be offering hope that the ban might even be lifted before the 3-month extension is over, there are no assurances. It seems to be largely based on one man, Haider al-Abadi, the Iraqi Prime Minister.
|Iraq extends flight ban by 3 months for Kurdistan|
The flight ban imposed on the Kurdistan Region by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has been extended by three months
Talar Faiq, the head of the Erbil International Airport, told Rudaw on Monday that the decision to block international flights to and from the Kurdish airports has been extended until May 31.
It was set to expire on Wednesday. The ban affects international flights to and from the Kurdistan Region’s international airports in Erbil and Sulaimani, forcing passengers to obtain an Iraqi visa to transit through Basra or Baghdad.
Omed Mohammed Salih, the spokesperson for the KRG’s Transportation Ministry said “given the steps the Kurdistan Region and Iraq took to get close to each other, we did not expect the closure of the airports be extended by three more months.”
Salih, however, was optimistic for the airports being re-opened before the deadline.
“This decree is from the Iraqi Civil Aviation, it could be changed with a decree from Haider al-Abadi,” he asserted.