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Sat, Jun 14, 2003

Next Stop: Baghdad

DOT Grants Applications For Air Service to Iraq

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) today granted the applications of three US airlines - World Airways, Northwest Airlines and Kalitta Air - to provide, subject to further US government clearances, scheduled air service to Iraq.

The authority granted cannot alone result in new service to Iraq. It is subject to the carriers' compliance with all applicable requirements of DOT, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Transportation Security Administration, the Department of Defense and other federal agencies.  In addition, the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, in conjunction with DOT, is currently examining the prospect of restoring safe and secure air transportation in that country.

Helping Iraq Recover

"Re-establishing air service will help with Iraq's recovery and assist in its return to the community of nations," said US Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta.  "While our action today is only an initial step to restoring air service, it is a significant step toward a safe and secure aviation link with Iraq."

On May 27, the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Asset Control announced that it had issued a general license authorizing most of the transactions, including those related to transportation, that had been prohibited since a 1990 Executive Order imposing sanctions on Iraq. Following that action, on May 30 DOT lifted its own prohibition on US-Iraq air service, and today's action constitutes a logical next step in DOT's efforts to facilitate and promote service restoration.

Service Already Planned

World Airways plans scheduled combination passenger and cargo service between Washington Dulles Airport and Baghdad via Geneva.  Northwest sought and received authority to operate scheduled combination service between any US and any Iraqi city and beyond, with service via Amsterdam.

Northwest may elect to serve Baghdad through a code share on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.  Kalitta plans scheduled all-cargo service between the United States and Iraq and also plans service to Kuwait and Jordan.

In addition to the authority granted by the department today, United Airlines, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines have existing certificate authority to serve Iraq. United has notified DOT that it plans to place its code on flights to Baghdad by Lufthansa German Airlines flying from Frankfurt, Germany, and on those of Austrian Airlines from Vienna.

FMI: http://dms.dot.gov

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