DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – A state news agency is quoting the CEO of Qatar Airways as saying his airline will continue to fly to Irbil “as long as its airspace remains open and there are no security issues.”
That’s according to a late Wednesday night report by the state-run Qatar News Agency. It quoted CEO Akbar al-Baker as making the comments at a tourism event in Doha.
Qatar Airways is the only one of three major long-haul Gulf carriers to fly into Irbil.
Iraq’s Transport Ministry ordered international airlines to halt service to Irbil, the Kurdish regional capital, and Sulaimaniyah, its second city, beginning Friday evening. That’s due to tensions over an independence referendum held this week in Iraq’s Kurdish region and disputed territories.
Low-cost carrier FlyDubai says it is halting flights from Saturday.