World

December 17, 2012

Boeing delivers first new jet to Iraq in decades

Tags:
Adam Schreck
Associated Press


The first new Boeing jetliner sold to Iraq in 30 years touched down in Baghdad Dec. 15, signaling the country’s determination to rebuild its economy after decades of war and sanctions.

Iraq is eager to improve its creaky aviation industry, which lags far behind that of its energy-rich neighbors. Boeing’s delivery of the twin-aisle 777-200LR plane comes less than two weeks after the company’s chief rival Airbus announced the delivery of one of its own wide-body planes to Iraq.

The arrival of this plane represents a big chance for Iraqi Airways to turn around,î Iraqi Transportation Minister Hadi al-Amiri said.

More planes are coming. Iraq has ordered another 30 of Boeing’s smaller 737-800 model and 10 of its new 787. The first of the 737s will be delivered in the middle of next year, according to the Chicago-based plane maker.

Airbus in early December said it had delivered its first A330-200 to Iraq. Iraqi Airways, which plans to use that plane on European and other international routes, already operates two Airbus A321s.

Boeing last sold Iraq a commercial plane – a version of the 747 jumbo jet – in 1982, said Donald Galvanin, the company’s sales director for the Middle East. He said this weekend’s delivery is an important step toward improving Iraq’s economy.

ìTo bring in business, you need a connection with outside … and a viable airline,î he said.

Iraq was able to get the 777 delivered now because another customer was unable to take it, Galvanin said. He said he expects Baghdad may be interested in buying more of the long-range jets down the road because ìthey realize they would need a few more.

The U.S. Embassy said it worked closely with Boeing and Baghdad to complete the 777 sale. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Iraqi Airways’ efforts to turn itself around have been hobbled by ageing equipment, a lack of adequately trained staff and a long-running dispute with Kuwait stemming from Saddam Hussein’s invasion in 1990.

The disagreement centered on Kuwait’s accusations that Saddam’s regime stole 10 airplanes and millions of dollars’ worth of equipment and spare parts during the invasion. Kuwait earlier wanted to $1.2 billion in reparations, which Iraq’s postwar leaders had resisted paying.

Iraq and Kuwait earlier this year reached a $500 million deal to settle the airline feud, paving the way for Iraqi Airways to resume normal operations. The dispute had scuttled at least one planned Iraqi Airways route, between Baghdad and London, after Kuwait attempted to confiscate the Iraqi plane in the British capital.

As Iraqi Airways has struggled, foreign airlines have increasingly begun flying to the country, eating into the national carrier’s share of the market.

They include airlines from neighboring countries, including Turkish Airlines and Royal Jordanian, and well-funded Gulf airlines such as Emirates and Etihad Airways. Austrian Airlines last year became the first major western carrier to resume regular flights to Baghdad since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

Foreign airlines are increasingly offering flights to other Iraqi cities as well, particularly Irbil in the self-ruled Kurdish region. The Kurds’ northern enclave is much safer than the capital and is a popular destination for foreign investors looking to break into the Iraqi market.

No U.S. commercial airlines fly regularly to Iraq. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration last week lifted a 16-year-old a ban on American carriers flying to Irbil and Sulaimaniyah, also in the Kurdish area. The agency said flights to other Iraqi airports may be allowed in the future.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines October 1, 2014

Veterans: Substantial VA staff will face discipline - A substantial number of VA employees will face punishment for the veterans treatment scandal, the new national commander of the American Legion predicted Sept. 30, indicating that the slow pace of discipline has more to do with the hoops the department must jump through than it does a...
 
 

News Briefs October 1, 2014

Egypt president gives army control of arms imports The Egyptian president has amended a law, giving the country’s army control over weapons and ammunition imports. The Sept. 30 statement from the presidency says Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi changed articles stipulating that a permit for weapons’ imports has to be granted by the Interior Ministry, which is in...
 
 
atk-test

ATK successfully tests Orion launch abort motor igniter

NASA and ATK successfully completed a static test of the launch abort motor igniter for the Orion crew capsule’s Launch Abort System. Conducted at ATK’s facility in Promontory, Utah, this test is the next step towa...
 

 
uav-coalition

Small UAV coalition launched to advance commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles

Leading technology companies Oct. 1 formally announced the formation of the Small UAV Coalition to help pave the way for commercial, philanthropic, and civil use of small unmanned aerial vehicles in the United States and abroad...
 
 
Navy photograph

NAWCWD manned for unmanned systems

Navy photograph A rail launch is performed during Integrator unmanned aerial vehicle testing at Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division China Lake, Calif. Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division scientists, engineers, techn...
 
 
NASA photograph by Ken Ulbrich

NASA employees go ‘above and beyond’

Courtesy photograph NASA Chief Scientist Albion Bowers, Christopher Miller and Nelson Brown receive the Exception Engineering Achievement Medal at Armstrong Research Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The prestigious award ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>