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Published On: Fri, Feb 2nd, 2018

Airports in Iraq’s Kurdistan Autonomous Region generated over $40 million in 2017

nsnbc : The Ministry of Transport and Communications in Iraq’s Kurdistan Autonomous Region (KRG) said the region’s airports generated more than $40.683 million in 2017.

Sulaymaniyah Airport. Photo from October 2017

Sulaymaniyah Airport. Photo from October 2017

The ministry released its annual report of the airports in Erbil and Sulaimani on Thursday this week. The revenue generated by the two airports amounted to $40,683,132 USD in 2017, reported the ministry. “The revenue of both airports reduced in 2017 due to the suspension of international flights by the government of Iraq,” the ministry added.

The federal government of Iraq in the capital Baghdad severed the Kurdistan Autonomous Region’s air links to the outside world and seized control over the airports in late September 2017, after the region voted overwhelmingly for independence in a non-binding referendum.

Baghdad denounced the referendum as illegal and unconstitutional while the Kurdistan Regional Government inisted that the referendum was legal, to be used as a guideline while negotiating with Baghdad about the future of the region, including its independence, eventually.

Iraqi authorities have extended the suspension on the Erbil and Sulaymani airports until February 28, 2018 even though bilateral working groups, in January, agreed on modalities for joint control over the airports.

ollowing a meeting with an Iraqi committee in Erbil on January 15, Minister of Transportation and Communication, Mawlud Bawa Murad said the region and Baghdad had agreed to manage the Kurdish airports and border crossings jointly. The ban on the international flights to and from the airports, however, is still underway.

CH/L – nsnbc 02.02.2018

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