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Published On: Wed, Oct 11th, 2017

Flight ban imposed by Baghdad costs Kurdish airport USD60.000 daily

nsnbc : The international flight ban imposed by the federal government of Iraq on airports in the Kurdistan Autonomous Region (KAR) has caused  the al-Sulaymaniyah Airport to sustain tens of thousands of dollars in losses per day, its director said.

al-Sulaymaniyah Airport_KAR_IraqSpeaking to the Almaalomah website Taher Abdallah, director of al-Sulaymaniyah Airport,said that the ban mandated by the Iraqi federal government has caused daily losses worth USD60.000. “What is being drawn from domestic flights does not correspond with workers wages,” Abdallah said.

“Sulaymaniyah Airport’s annual revenues used to stand at USD10 million,” the director said. “50% of the airport’s revenues were redirected to Kurdistan’s finance ministry, while the remainder was spent continuously on airport upgrading”.

Baghdad had ordered a freeze on international flights to and from airports in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah in the Kurdistan Autonomous Region after the region proceeded with a referendum on independence from Iraq on September 25th, a measure rejected by the Arab-led, Shia dominated and heavily Iranian influenced Iraqi government.

Other penal measures included a halt of financial dealings and the closure of border crossings. Baghdad had demanded Erbil to hand over management of airports and border crossings, as well as  security responsibilities at areas where both governments contend sovereignty.

F/AK – nsnbc 10.11.2017

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