A new economic hub is in the making with Iraq reviving its OPEC market share, this improved trade across the border has seen another important sector booming, which is Aviation. During the last few years, aviation has transformed into one of the fastest growing sector with Iraqi airways placing orders for new aircrafts and airports in like Erbil, Sulaimaniyah, Baghdad, Najaf and others announcing billions worth expansion plans.
More recently, direct flight services have been resumed between Iraq and Kuwait after a pause that lasted for more than two decades. The Iraqi carrier also opened air routes with countries such as Sweden, Britain, Malaysia, India and Denmark, in addition to neighboring countries. New direct routes also will be opened soon with other countries, such as Azerbaijan. In January this year Russian Embassy in Baghdad announced that Iraq and Russia are working on opening a new direct flight route between Baghdad and Moscow.
The flag carrier also signed $387 million agreement with Bombardier, which followed a letter of intent for five of the larger version of CSeries and with an option on another 11 CS300s. With incoming flights from around 30 carriers including Turkish Airlines, Emirates, Qatar Airway, Air Arabia, flydubai, Royal Jordanian, Jazeera Airways and EgyptAir, Iraqi airports are gearing up to handle the increasing passenger growth.
Airports in the country have development plans worth $50 billion for construction of new terminals, ATC / ATM, safety & security, IT support, maintenance, operations and all the segments of its airports. Expansion projects have been launched Baghdad, Basra, Erbil, Najaf, Mosul and Sulaymaniyah. Iraq is building one of the biggest airports near Karbala named Middle Euphrates International Airport (MEIA). An international airport project is under construction at Duhok in Kurdistan region.