|Commenced operations||January 28, 1946|
|Hubs||Baghdad International Airport|
|Alliance||Arab Air Carriers Organization|
الاتحاد العربي للنقل الجوي
|Parent company||Iraqi Government|
|Key people||Kifah Hasan Jabbar (CEO)|
Iraqi Airways Company, operating as Iraqi Airways (Arabic: الخطوط الجوية العراقية al-Xuṭūṭ al-Jawwiyyah al-ʿIrāqiyyah), is the national carrier of Iraq, headquartered on the grounds of Baghdad International Airport in Baghdad. It is the second oldest airline in the Middle East. Iraqi Airways operates domestic and regional service. Its main base is Baghdad International Airport.
Iraqi Airways is a member of the Arab Air Carriers Organization.
Iraqi Airways was founded in 1945 as a department of the Iraqi State Railways and started operating on 28 January 1946 using five De Havilland Dragon Rapides on a service to Syria. With the help of the British Overseas Airways Corporation the new airline ordered three Vickers Viking aircraft. While waiting for the Vikings to be delivered the airline leased four Douglas DC-3 aircraft from BOAC in December 1946. In 1947 it ordered the de Havilland Dove to replace the Dragon Rapides and the Doves were delivered in October 1947. The three new Vikings were delivered at the end of 1947 and the DC-3s were returned to BOAC, a fourth Viking was bought second-hand.
In 1953 the four-engined Vickers Viscount turboprop was chosen to replace the Vikings and an order for three was placed in July. The Viscounts entered service in 1955 and operated all of Iraqi Airways' international services including a new route to London with intermediate stops. On 1 April 1960 the airline became independent from the railway company and in 1961 it placed an order for two Boeing 720Bs for delivery in 1964, but the order for Boeings was later cancelled.
In the 1960s Iraqi Airways bought Russian Tupolev Tu-124 planes as well as Hawker Siddeley Trident aircraft. These jets allowed Iraqi Airways to increase service across the Middle East, to Africa and Europe. During that time, cargo aircraft such as the Ilyushin Il-76 were also purchased. During the 1970s, Iraqi Airways needed a bigger jet for a new route to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, purchasing the Boeing 707 and, soon after, the Boeing 747.
Attempts were made to restart domestic services in May 1991, and permission was granted by the UN for the operation of helicopters on limited domestic services. Fixed-wing flights were banned under the ceasefire terms, although the UN Security Council agreed to the resumption of domestic flights. These restarted in January 1992 from Baghdad to Basra using Antonov An-24 aircraft. Operations were suspended shortly after, following a UN ruling.
However, domestic flights became a rarity too, because of the No-Fly Zone imposed by the United States and United Kingdom over Iraqi skies. On occasions, Iraqi Airways would also fly pilgrims to Muslim religious cities throughout the 1990s.
After the War in Iraq, on 30 May 2003, Iraqi Airways announced plans to resume international services. The rights to the Iraqi Airways name was transferred to a new and separate company called Iraqi Airways Company which would build a new airline and protect it from the legal problems related to the regime of Saddam Hussein. Operations restarted on 3 October 2004 with a flight between Baghdad and Amman.
Iraqi Airways operated the first domestic commercial scheduled service since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime from Baghdad to Basra, with 100 passengers in a Boeing 727-200, on 4 June 2005. On 6 November 2005, Iraqi Airways operated a flight from Baghdad to Tehran, Iran, for the first time in twenty-five years. The aircraft, as with the rest of the fleet, was operated on its behalf by Teebah Airlines of Jordan. Services to Erbil and Sulaymaniyah were added in summer 2005.
In June 2009, it was revealed that Iraqi Airways had struck a deal with British aviation authorities to resume direct from Baghdad to London Gatwick; the flights were supposed to begin on 8 August 2009 using a Boeing 737-400 leased from Tor Air and would eventually have seen the Airbus A320-200 operating the route. This did not happen as planned, however. The airline said at the time that they intended on a bigger expansion into the UK and Europe.
On 25 April 2010, Iraqi Airways launched flights to Gatwick Airport via Malmö, Sweden. When the first flight landed at London, a Kuwaiti lawyer had the General Director Kifah Hassan's documents and passport seized, as well as the plane itself. There were no developments, however, as the plane was owned by the Swedish company Tor Air. The plane returned to Baghdad. However, Kifah Hassan was not allowed to leave the United Kingdom and went up in court on 30 April. Kuwaiti officials demanded £780 million for the planes stolen by Saddam Hussein in the 1990 invasion.
On 26 May 2010, Amer Abdul-Jabbar, Iraq's transport minister, said the cabinet had decided on Tuesday to dissolve the company over the next three years and pursue private options to avoid asset claims made by Kuwait over their 1990–91 war.
On 14 August 2013, Iraqi Airways took delivery of their first Boeing 737-800 direct from Boeing Company.
In June 2014, Iraqi Airways suspended services to Mosul due to the capture of the city by ISIL.
On 5 August 2015, Iraqi Airways received a ban from flying in Swedish Airspace consequent to not meeting safety standards required to fly within the EU 
On 10 August 2015, an EU-wide ban was imposed on the airline, suspending all EU based flights from Iraqi Airways indefinitely. However Iraqi Airways responded to reports of the ban, citing that the ban was more of a "temporary suspension" caused due to bureaucracy issues and that the matters would be resolved as a matter of urgency. Since then, the airline resumed limited service to some EU destinations by wet-leasing services from Aerovista. More recently, these flights have been operarated by AirExplore in a modified Iraqi Airways livery.
On 8 September 2015, Iraqi Airways received a loan of $2 billion from a US bank to finance the purchase of modern aircraft type Boeing 777 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
In 2008 Iraqi Airways introduced a new blue colour livery, replacing the previous green shades associated with Saddam-era, the new scheme was applied to a single Bombardier CRJ only, later on one other CRJ received the former green livery, apparently reverting to the previous look. However, in 2012 Iraqi Airways adopted a new green livery which is now being applied fleet-wide.
In October 2009, Iraqi Airways resumed flights to Karachi, Pakistan. The airline also started seasonal (Hajj) flights to Jeddah. The airline also revealed it had applied for rights to fly to Malmö, Sweden.
The Iraqi Airways fleet consists of the following aircraft as of August 2019:
|Airbus A220-300||—||5||12||140||152||Deliveries scheduled for 2020|
|Airbus A320-200||3||—||—||180||180||Operated by AtlasGlobal|
|1||75||—||75||Operated for Government of Iraq|
In May 2008, the Iraqi government signed a $2.2 billion contract with Boeing for 30 Boeing 737-800s with an option for an additional 10. It was also working on a deal involving the order of ten Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft which would allow for long-range service.
Another contract worth $398 million was signed for ten Bombardier CRJ-900ER aircraft with ten options. The first CRJ-900ER was delivered in October 2008. This resulted in a lawsuit against Bombardier by Kuwait Airways. Kuwait claims to have won $1.2 billion in judgments against Iraqi Airways as a result of the Gulf War. The Canadian judge ruled that he did not have jurisdiction because the case involved a foreign government since the purchaser of the aircraft was the government of Iraq not Iraqi Airways. The lawsuit by Kuwait Airways was settled in 2009 with Iraq agreeing to pay $300 million.
In February 2010, the airline announced major fleet plans, including converting 10 of the 30 orders for the Boeing 737-800 to additional wide bodies as well as bringing the delivery date forward to September 2011; changing the 10 Boeing 787 Dreamliner orders to Boeing 777 aircraft.
|Airbus A300B4-203||Operated for Govt. of Iraq|
|Antonov An-12BP||Cargo Aircraft|
|Boeing 727-200||Some of the fleet were destroyed during the Iran–Iraq War|
|Boeing 747SP||Saddam Hussein's private jet, stored in Tunisia|
|Ilyushin Il-76MD||Cargo Aircraft|
|McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10|
|Lockheed L-1329 Jetstar|
|de Havilland Dove|
|de Havilland Dragon Rapide|
|Hawker Siddeley HS-121 Trident 1E|
|Vickers VC.1 Viking|
Five Kuwait Airways Airbus A310-200s were seized in 1990 and re-registered in Iraq as part of Iraqi Airways, however these never flew. The airline had also ordered five Airbus A310-300s in the late 1980s but war-related sanctions prevented their delivery.
Iraqi Airways' last fatal incident occurred on 25 December 1986. The airline has had the following incidents, accidents and hijackings since it began operations in 1945:
Media related to Iraqi Airways at Wikimedia Commons