In Rudaw

Iraq flight ban extended until July 15

Iraq’s Civil Aviation Authority announced Wednesday it would prolong its suspension of commercial passenger flights to and from the country until July 15, continuing a restriction aimed at controlling the ongoing spread of coronavirus.

The ban exempts military, medical aid, and cargo flights, according to a statement from the state authority.

Repatriation flights for Iraqis stranded abroad are also exempt from the decision, the statement added.

The Iraqi government has previously organised several flights to bring home Iraqis stranded in Egypt and Russia, among other countries.

The COVID-19 outbreak reached Iraq in February. As part of measures to prevent spread of the virus, Iraq banned commercial passenger flights on March 17, and has extended the measure several times.

Despite the ban, a limited number of charter flights have allowed foreign nationals to leave the country.  However, foreign nationals in the Kurdistan Region have complained of high prices preventing them from booking seats.

Iraq has recorded a total of 51,524 coronavirus cases, including those in the Kurdistan Region. To date, 26,267 people have recovered, and 2,050 have died from the virus, according to the Iraqi health ministry. Source