India resumes flights to Iraq after 30 year gap

A plane carrying pilgrims lands in the holy city of Najaf


Afp February 15, 2019
Indians disembark from an Air India flight at Najaf International Airport on February 14, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

NAJAF, IRAQ: Air India on Thursday resumed flights to Iraq after a 30 year gap, when a plane carrying pilgrims landed in the city of Najaf.

"This is the first time in the last 30 years" that a plane has come from India to Iraq, said Pradeep Singh Rajpurohit, India's ambassador to Iraq, at the international airport that serves the holy city.

"We are very fortunate that the holy city of Najaf has been chosen as the first destination", he added, noting that attempts to restore direct air links had been ongoing for some time.

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Flights were prevented by years of conflict in Iraq and sanctions against Saddam Hussein's regime after his invasion of Kuwait, as well as by the extended chaos that came in the wake of the former dictator's 2003 downfall.

The plane started its journey in Lucknow, the capital of India's Uttar Pradesh state, and upon landing the crew and pilgrims were welcomed by Iraqi officials.

Pilgrims from around the world come to Najaf, some 150 kilometres (90 miles) south of Baghdad, to visit the tomb of Imam Ali, Prophet Mohammed's son-in-law.

COMMENTS (1)

Bunny Rabbit | 2 years ago | Reply Whata fresh fine peice of news after a long time from that area .
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