Austrian suspends flights to north Iraq

Austrian Airlines flights to Erbil in Iraq are to be suspended temporarily and with immediate effect. Austrian has reevaluated the security situation since an incident involving a Swedish aircraft in early August.

Based on new information, the Austrian Airlines Group has now decided to suspend flights to Erbil until further notice. The final flight from Erbil for the present, flight no. OS 830, landed in Vienna at 7.00 p.m. on Friday, 24 August.

Chief Executive Officer Alfred ?-tsch made the following comment on the decision: “When we began operating scheduled flights to Erbil, we became the first west European airline to create a new connection crucial for the economic redevelopment of the country. The safe passage of our passengers and members of staff remains our highest priority, however. A range of different aspects always needs to be taken into consideration with such decisions, and this is particularly the case with this destination. We will not be taking any risks, and will be observing and assessing the security situation on an ongoing basis. Our intention to reintegrate Erbil into Austrians scheduled programme as soon as the security situation improves is unbroken.”

The route, which began operating on 11 December 2006, has developed extremely positively.
The original service consisting of two flights a week has already expanded to four connections a week due to strong demand.
Assuming a positive reevaluation of the situation, there is nothing whatsoever to stop flights to Erbil being reintegrated into the Austrian schedule at relatively short notice.