Tehran to resume direct flights to Erbil, northern Iraq
Iran will resume direct flights between Tehran and the Iraqi city of Erbil from April 27.
Iran's consul general in Erbil, Morteza Ebadi has said: "For the time being, Mahan Air will offer a direct service to Erbil, twice a week, every Tuesday and Wednesday, and will try to increase the number of flights in the future."
Ebadi added: "The resumption of direct flights, is an important factor for increasing bilateral cooperation, as well as for boosting tourism, and also to encourage firms and businesses to invest more and strengthen trade across the border".
Iran will resume direct flights between Tehran and the Iraqi city of Erbil after a six-month hiatus which saw Baghdad and its neighbors impose an air ban on the regional Kurdistan government over a secession bid.
Iran re-opened two crossings with the Iraqi Kurdistan region in January, which it had closed at Baghdad’s request in response to the secession referendum.
The decision came on the same day as the Kurdish Regional Government offered to put their secession drive on hold and step up efforts to resolve a crisis in relations with Baghdad via dialogue rather than military means.
Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said Iran seeks to boost relations with the Iraqi Kurdish region as part of a united Iraq.
It should be noted that the Iraqi Kurdistan region is one of Iran's major trading partners, with the volume of trade (transactions) between the two sides reaching an impressive $4 billion a year.