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Sunday
Oct312010

First Passenger Plane to Land in Baghdad in 20 Years

Photo Courtesy - AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images(BAGHDAD) -- A French airline landed an Airbus 319 at Baghdad International Airport Sunday, making it virtually the first passenger plane to arrive there in two decades. A Scandinavian company tried briefly to run flights from Copenhagen to Baghdad last year but the effort lasted only a few days.

The London Telegraph says the Aigle Azur flight carried 111 passengers, most of them businessmen.

France’s ambassador to Baghdad, Boris Boillon, called the arrival “historic."  Other western airlines are examining the possibility of resuming flights to Baghdad but many are reluctant because while more stable, the country is still plagued by sectarian violence.  German airline Lufthansa had scheduled passenger flights but canceled them because too few passengers were willing to fly there for it to be profitable.

An Iraqi firm is scheduled to launch flights from London to Baghdad next week.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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