Austrian Airlines has resumed flights to Baghdad after 21 years, becoming the first major Western carrier with regular flights to the Iraqi capital. An Austrian Airlines plane touched down today at Baghdad International Airport, and the airline will fly the same route three times weekly. The decision by the Vienna-based airline to resume Baghdad flights should help Iraq lure international investors. The airline currently flies to the northern Iraqi city of Irbil six times a week.
Austrian began flying to Baghdad in 1982 but stopped in 1990 due to the first Gulf War. Many regional carriers, including Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways and Turkish Airlines, already fly to the Iraqi capital. But there are no direct passenger flights between Baghdad and western Europe. (Read more Baghdad stories.)