People arrive to Erbil International Airport, Iraq March 15, 2018. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
CAIRO - 13 April 2018: EGYPTAIR operated its first flight to the capital of Kurdistan Region in Iraq, Erbil on Friday, after 7-month halt.
The national carrier will operate three flights per week to the Kurdish capital, on Monday, Tuesday and Friday, to become four flights per week in the second half of next September.
EGYPTAIR, as well as all world airlines, suspended all its flights to Kurdistan Region in September 2017, following the landslide voting in favor of split from Baghdad, 93 percent, in an independent referendum called by former Kurdistan president Masoud Barzani.
The federal government of Baghdad headed by Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi punished the residents of the region by closing the airspace over Kurdistan and shutting down both airports of Erbil and Sulaimaniyah, and suspending the salaries of the region’s public service employees.
Both governments of Kurdistan and Baghdad have set a consensus after pulling out the independence decision, allowing the self-governed region to resume flights from the key airports and paying the employees’ salaries.