Emirates, Etihad, Air Arabia suspend Baghdad flights | Pakistan Today

Emirates, Etihad, Air Arabia suspend Baghdad flights

United Arab Emirates (UAE) airlines Emirates, Etihad and Air Arabia have suspended flights to Baghdad in compliance with security guidance from the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority, the companies said.

Dubai government-backed discount carrier FlyDubai earlier said that damage had been discovered to the fuselage of one of its aircraft “consistent with small arms fire” after it landed at Baghdad on Monday.

All passengers disembarked normally and no medical attention was required.

The no-frills carrier, a sister firm of Emirates, said it was working with Iraqi authorities to investigate the incident, adding that it will continue to fly to its other destinations in Iraq.

An aviation official and a security official said that two passengers were slightly injured when three or four bullets hit the body of the plane on Monday evening but they were unable to specify the source of the gunfire.

Flights from some of the other major airlines flying to Baghdad, such as Turkish Airlines and Royal Jordanian, were delayed, their websites showed.

Western airlines flying over Iraq have taken extra precautions in recent months for fear that militants of the Islamic State group might acquire weapons able to hit cruising airliners.

Baghdad International Airport is located west of the capital, near the province of Anbar, which is largely controlled by IS fighters.

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