The airline company Iraqi Airways plans to acquire 31 aircraft additional resources in order to accelerate its growth – which also remains hampered by its presence on the European Union blacklist.
Having received last month the first of ten Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner ordered, the Iraqi national company based at the airport of Baghdad already awaiting deliveries of two 737 MAX 8 and a Airbus A220-300 additional ones, as well as ten 737 MAX 10. But with 20 aircraft in service out of the 37 owned, the fleet must grow – and according to the local press, agreements have already been finalized with the two major manufacturers for the acquisition of 31 new aircraft.
No details have leaked out on the types being considered, their breakdown or delivery dates, with a government spokesperson explaining that ” the Ministry of Transport has signed a contract with the Boeing and Airbus companies for the purchase of modern aircraft (…). 31 modern aircraft will enter service and be received sequentially until the end of 2027 “. Without specifying whether this total includes those already ordered…
In addition to the aircraft already mentioned, Iraqi Airways has three A320s, two A321s and one A330-200, as well as one 737-700, fourteen 737-800s and one 777-200LR, and six Bombardier CRJ900s.
With this eclectic fleet, she serves more than 50 destinations from Baghdad, the expansion of the fleet having to “address the expected increase in international business and leisure travel to and from the country”. Iraq is experiencing increased stability and economic growth, with the country’s annual gross domestic product growth rate expected to reach 7% by the end of 2023,” an Iraqi Airways statement said in June.
But with a network limited to the Near and Middle East and Asia, expansion is bound to be limited – at least until Iraqi Airways exits the “ blacklist “, the list of airlines “subject to an operating ban or operating restrictions within the european unione, because they do not meet international safety standards”. Already in the spring, the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) had met with EASA officials about the matter – to no effect so far, as the June update still banned Iraqi Airways from flying into EU airspace.