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Iraqi Airways flights to Britain cancelled; airline dissolved

A long running dispute with Kuwait has forced Iraq’s government to dissolve Iraqi Airways just weeks after the company launched flights to the UK.

May 26, 2010 3:13 by

A decades-old dispute with Kuwait has forced the Iraq government to shut down state owned airline Iraqi Airways, reports the Associated Press.

The argument goes back to the first Gulf War, and Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. Iraq’s oil rich neighbor has been demanding $1.2 billion from Iraqi Airways for the alleged theft of 10 aircraft and millions of dollars of spare parts in the 1990 Invasion.

Kuwait had been trying to freeze the company’s assets worldwide. On Tuesday, it attempted to confiscate the airline’s first plane to fly to London in 20 years, but discovered that Iraqi Airways does not own any of its planes; they are all leased.

The decision to dissolve Iraqi Airways was announced by the Iraq Transportation Ministry.

“Iraq’s Cabinet decided to close Iraqi Airways and announced its bankruptcy because the company doesn’t own any airplanes and because of the Kuwaiti government’s cases raised against the company,” spokesman Karim al-Tamimi told The Associated Press.

“We hope in the future to replace it by two or three companies to resume its operations,” he said.

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