Sunday, August 26, 2007

Austrian Airlines cancels Iraq flights due to safety concerns

Above: An Austrian Airlines Airbus A319, the aircraft used for the twice-weekly flights from Vienna. On December 11, 2006, Austrian Airlines became the first European airline to fly to Iraq since the war began when it launched its Iraq service. "Irbil is not the Iraq you see on the news. It's a completely different situation," said a spokesman at the time.

Austrian Airlines said Sunday it has suspended service to the northern Iraqi city of Irbil because of security concerns.

The airline said the flight Friday evening was its last until further notice, following a security review in the Kurdish-controlled city about 350 kilometers (215 miles) north of Baghdad.

The decision was based partially on an incident earlier this month involving a Swedish jetliner that allegedly came under rocket fire as it left Sulaimaniyah, also in northern Iraq, the airline said...

Austrian Airlines had launched twice-weekly service between Vienna and Irbil in December.

Read the rest at the International Herald Tribune

Related Link:
Sweden suspends flights to Iraq as avaiation authority investigates report of missile fired at passenger jet

Related Link:
Iraq denies Swedish passenger jet targeted by missile in Kurdistan