Iraqi Airways, the national carrier of Iraq, plans to significantly expand its fleet in the coming years. In an ambitious expansion initiative, the airline aims to add 31 new Airbus and Boeing aircraft by 2027. A recent report confirms that the airline has finalized a purchase contract with both Airbus and Boeing to facilitate this fleet expansion.
Iraqi Airways’ primary objective and its massive 31 Airbus & Boeing aircraft expansion
The primary objective of this plan is to modernize Iraqi Airways’ fleet and enhance its operational capabilities. The airline aims to provide more efficient and comfortable travel experiences for its passengers by acquiring state-of-the-art aircraft. Additionally, the new planes will enable the airline to expand its route network, attract more passengers, and improve its competitiveness.
Although specific details about the aircraft type are currently unavailable, Maitham al-Safi, Director of Media and Iraqi Government Communication, stated that the Ministry of Transportation signed a procurement contract with Boeing and Airbus. Al-Safi confirmed that the contract includes Boeing 737 MAXs, Airbus A220s, and a 787 Dreamliner for Iraqi Airways.
Currently, Iraqi Airways operates 39 aircraft with an average age of 11.2 years, according to Presently, Iraqi Airways operates 39 aircraft with an average age of 11.2 years, according to ch-aviation.com. However, the airline has 22 aircraft on order, including 10 Boeing 737 MAX 10s, nine 787 Dreamliners, two Boeing 737 MAX 8s, and a single A220-300 jet. Iraqi Airways received its first delivery of the 787-8 in late June 2023. With its latest widebody aircraft, the airline offers 24 seats in business class and 242 seats in economy class.
Efforts and commitment for 31 Airbus & Boeing aircraft
While Iraqi Airways primarily operates within the Middle East and Asia from its Baghdad hub, it is currently prohibited from operating within the European Union (EU) due to airspace restrictions. This ban was imposed because the airline failed to obtain a Third Country Operators (TCO) certificate from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). However, discussions between the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority and EASA were held in Dubai in March 2023 with the goal of lifting the ban and resuming operations, including the possibility of opening new routes within the EU.
The introduction of modern aircraft shows Iraqi Airways’ commitment to diversification of its fleet and to taking advantage of each manufacturer’s unique features and benefits. The airline’s expansion plans reflect its vision of becoming a leading player and a preferred choice for travelers.
Despite potential challenges, Iraqi Airways is determined to achieve its goals by 2027. The airline remains firmly committed to realizing its vision, strengthening its position in the global aviation market, and contributing to the growth of the aviation industry in Iraq. The acquisition of new aircraft is expected to generate new job opportunities.
Have you had the opportunity to travel with this airline? How do you feel about the proposed expansion of 31 Airbus and Boeing aircraft? We’d love to hear what you think!