BAGHDAD, (AP) – Iraq’s Transportation Ministry says it has reached an agreement with Saudi Arabia allowing the kingdom’s national carrier to resume flights to Iraq for the first time since 1991.
Ayad Katheer Raheem, the director general of the ministry’s aviation department, says that Saudi Arabian Airlines has contracted with the privately-owned al-Wafeer Airlines to run the daily flights. Raheem said Tuesday the flights would resume “soon,” with the exact date up to the Saudis.
The neighboring countries broke off air service following Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990, which sparked the first Gulf War. Even since Saddam’s ouster in 2004, relations have remained frosty.
The only current flights from Iraq to Saudi Arabia carry worshippers for the annual Muslim hajj every year.