By John Lee.

Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi (pictured) has called for an investigation into the appointment of a deputy director general to the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA), citing allegation that the appointment was made under threat.

In a statement the Prime Minister said.

His Excellency Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi ordered to conduct an investigation on information indicating the issuance of an administrative order by the Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority to appoint a person in the position of Deputy Director General of the Authority under threat and intimidation, to consider the administrative procedure related to the position of the Deputy of the Chairman of the Authority frozen and inoperable, and the previous contexts shall continue to work until the completion of the investigation and the confirmation.

“His Excellency called for taking the necessary measures and imposing the most severe penalties on anyone who uses the threat or uses his powers to compel citizens or state institutions to carry out actions contrary to law and order.

(Source: Media Office of the Prime Minister)

The Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with its UAE counterpart.

According to a statement from Iraq’s General Establishment of Civil Aviation (GECA), the MoU will guarantee all operational and technical matters related to the field of air transport.

The Director General of the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority, Mr. Ali Khalil Ibrahim, said:

We look forward to further cooperation and coordination between the two countries in terms of the air transport sector, including increasing the number of flights to Dubai and Sharjah.

“During the meeting, it was agreed to facilitate the granting of entry visas to travelers from both countries through the provision of facilities, which will enhance the joint working ties between the two countries.

(Source: Iraqi General Establishment of Civil Aviation)

In May of this year, we reported claims that Iraq’s anti-corruption bodies were investigating the contract to operate the duty-free shops at Baghdad and Basra airports, following reports of corruption from Al-Ahad TV.

According to a new report from Al-Ahad TV, and to documents recently received by Iraq Business News (see below), the Iraqi Parliament has recently written to the Minister of Transport asking him to appear in parliament to answer questions in relation to a varitety of matters, including apparent irregularities in the extention of the contracts with Iraq Duty Free, which is owned by Financial Links.

The report alleges that the provision of 5 busses, 200 passenger trollies and other items to the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) amounts to bribery and corruption, contrary to Iraqi Law.

The Parliamentary Anti-Corruption Bureau has also written to the Inspector General for the Ministry of Transport asking him to investigate the contract.

Iraq Duty Free denies any wrongdoing.

We’ll report more details as the story unfolds.

Additional information:

New report from Al-Ahad TV (in Arabic):

Original article:



By John Lee.

The Iraqi Cabinet held its weekly regular meeting in Baghdad on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Al-Abadi.

It discussed energy, housing, transport, security, financial reforms and delivery of public services, and also reviewed several reconstruction projects across Iraq.

The cabinet approved measures to accelerate the transition to electronic payment of salaries to all state and public-sector employees in Iraq, and approved additional resources to support the appointment of 200 officers to Iraq’s Counter Terrorism Service.

It also authorised the allocation of 79 billion Iraqi dinars ($66 million) from the 2018 Contingency Fund to finance the first phase of the Tharthar Lake sustainable water management project.

The Cabinet decided to separate Iraq’s Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) from the Ministry of Transport, and attach it the Cabinet Office.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

By John Lee.

Daily Sabah reports that Iraq has extended its ban on international flights to Iraqi Kurdistan by three months.

The Iraq Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) reportedly told Erbil International Airport (EIA) that the ban on international flights to and from Erbil and Sulaymaniyah airports has been extended to the end of May.

(Source: Daily Sabah)

By John Lee.

The Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) has reached an agreement with its counterpart in Greece to re-start flights between the two countries, following a meeting between the parties on Tuesday.

According to a report from Neos Kosmos, there will be 10 passenger flights and two cargo flights per week, commencing on Saturday 4th November.

(Sources: Iraqi Ministry of Transport, Neos Kosmos)

By John Lee.

Direct international flights will be suspended to and from Erbil International Airport (pictured) starting from Friday evening, following a decision by the Iraqi cabinet and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, an airline official has told Xinhua.

The move follows the region’s vote for independence in Monday’s referendum.

Airlines including Qatar Airways, EgyptAir and Lebanon’s Middle East Airlines had already informed passengers that flights would be cancelled at the request of Iraq’s Civil Aviation Authority.

Only domestic flights will be permitted, and all the already-booked tickets for international flights should be through Baghdad international airport.

Iraq’s Tourism Board also announced on the halt of domestic tourism movement to the Kurdish region starting from early next week.

(Sources: Xinhua, The Independent, Reuters)

(Picture credit: Makyol)

By Wassim Bassem for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. 

Even if it were true that Sumerians built the first airport at Nasiriyah in 5000 BC, as Iraqi Transport Minister Kazem Finjan claimed in October, they would be shocked at the state of Iraqi aviation today.

While Kazem said Iraq’s early settlers used the airport as a base for exploring space, allegedly even discovering Pluto, Iraqis today would be happy to discover planes at their local airport. The Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority announced April 12 that a number of the country’s airports will be rehabilitated, but as critics have pointed out, one small problem remains: There are not enough planes to serve them.

After Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait in August 1990, the international community imposed an air embargo and other sanctions on the country, which were lifted in 2003 after the overthrow of President Saddam Hussein. Provincial and local governments, in an effort to catch up with developments in the global transport sector, sought to establish airports in every city, but with little apparent consideration given to providing the airports with the required equipment, including planes.

The building spree included airports in Erbil and Sulaimaniyah (2005), Najaf (2008) and Dahuk (2012). On March 6, the Dhi Qar airport in Nasiriyah began weekly flights to Baghdad. Meanwhile, other Iraqi cities are also looking to establish air connections.

A year ago, the Babil governorate signed a memorandum of understanding with a French company for an international airport. A cornerstone for an international airport at Karbala was laid in January, and on April 6 another was laid in Kut. On March 12, the Transport Ministry confirmed that it will turn the military airport at Diwaniyah into a civil facility. Mosul’s airport is reportedly slated for rehabilitation after the city’s liberation from the Islamic State.

By John Lee.

Iraq Duty Free has reportedly had its exclusive duty free contract at Baghdad and Basra airports extended by ten years to 4th March 2029.

According to The Moodie Davitt Report, the contract was awarded by the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) and Ministry of Transport to Iraq Duty Free’s parent company Financial Links, which has operated the business since 2004.

The retailer has agreed to improve facilities, and will pay a “significantly increased” concession fee from the previous 8 percent of sales, although specific details have not been revealed.

Iraq Duty Free posted logged 24 percent sales growth year-on-year to late September, including 29 percent growth at Baghdad International.

(Source: The Moodie Davitt Report)

The Iraqi Government and Lufthansa Consulting are continuing their longstanding relationship in order to further enhance the aviation system in Iraq.

The country’s Ministry of Transport signed a comprehensive agreement for a long-term strategic advisory and implementation project that will focus on restructuring the national carrier Iraqi Airways and the Iraq Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) and on optimizing Iraq’s airports.

The latest contract aims to implement the vision of the Ministry of Transport

  • to strengthen the ICAA in accordance with international standards and best practices
  • to enable Iraqi Airways to become a leading carrier in the Middle East
  • to provide a global network for the Iraqi people and the international market
  • to transform Baghdad International Airport into a hub serving three continents.

Iraq’s Minister of Transport, H.E. Kadoum Finjan Al-Hamami, says:

“This contract reflects the continuity of a long-lasting relationship between Iraq and Germany.”

Dr. Andreas Jahnke, Managing Director of Lufthansa Consulting, added:

“Lufthansa Consulting is proud to be chosen as an implementer and strategic advisor to the Iraqi Minister of Transport with a view to modernizing the aviation industry.

“With our international expertise acquired over 40 years as an aviation consultancy and our commitment to integrity and compliance with international standards, we are well equipped to support the Iraqi authorities and institutions in enhancing the situation in the interests of the people of Iraq.”

The German management consulting company has been active in Iraq since 2008 and has conducted several airport and airline projects in the country.

(Source: Lufthansa Consulting)