Gatwick (London) airport announcement: Boarding now for Baghdad

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  • And now for a bit of true fiction –

    Comment at end

    25th April 2010

    WHAT?! First flight from Iraq to Britain for TWENTY YEARS!?

    I don’t believe it! Does this mean that something that Mr Blair did in Iraq was more worthwhile, indeed far more successful than we are led to believe?

    Oh yes, it does.

    BBC article follows –

    The first direct flight between Iraq and the UK for 20 years has taken off from Baghdad airport, bound for London.

    Flight was delayed nearly a year amid security concerns in the EU

    The Iraqi Airways flight had been due to take off nine days ago, but was grounded by the volcanic ash cloud drifting over Europe.

    The flight, nearly a year behind schedule, was the first since the UN imposed sanctions after Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

    It was stopping in Sweden for security checks en route to Gatwick airport.

    Security concerns

    “A Boeing 737-400 Iraqi Airways flight left at 3pm (1200 GMT) for the first time in 20 years from Baghdad to London via Malmo,” Iraq’s civil aviation director, Adnan Blebil, told the AFP news agency.

    Thirty foreign and Iraqi passengers were on board Flight 237, including transport minister Amer Abduljabbar Ismail and Iraqi Airways chief Kifah Hassan.

    Their trip was delayed for many months, mainly because of security concerns in the UK and other EU countries.

    Even then, events kept the plane grounded a little longer.

    It should have taken off on April 16. But Iceland’s Eyjafjoell volcano erupted two days earlier, causing thousands of flights across Europe to be cancelled.

    Mr Blebil added that there would be two flights a week, going via Malmo on the way to London, but non-stop on the way back.

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