MIAMI – Iraqi Airways (IA) will restart services to Denmark and Germany in the EU along with flights to the UK in December, 2020.

The services will be operated by a Boeing 737-800 wet-leased from Slovakian carrier Air Explore (ED) with IA spokesman Balsam Al-Samer saying, “We signed a contract with Air Explore to launch four flights from Germany, one to Copenhagen Kastrup, and another from London from the beginning of December.”.

Iraqui Airways has been on an EU blacklist since 2015 due to concerns over safety and security oversight but the airline is allowed operate wet-leased aircraft from EU-approved carriers.

Iraqi Airways Boeing 747-400 at KUL Photo: By Tsung TsenTsan –, GFDL 1.2,

Expanding European Operations

Despite the ban, IA resumed operations to Germany from both Baghdad (BGW) and Erbil (EBL) in 2017, continuing them through the COVID-19 pandemic and operating with Airbus A320-200s registered in Iraq in the IA livery.

However, it was reported that the aircraft were part of a “convoluted double-leasing agreement that shifted responsibility for operating, maintaining and overseeing the aircraft” to now-defunct AtlasGlobal (KK).

While IA faces challenges in the EU, it does what is necessary through wet-lease agreements to ensure that Iraq and the Iraqi diaspora are properly connected.

By Eduard Heisterkamp –, GFDL 1.2